Nicholas Dalzell’s orchids in western India

Bramhadande S.P. & M.D. Nandikar

Published on : 30-Sep-2023



The Scottish botanist and forester N.A. Dalzell (1817–1878) described nearly 300 taxa in western India, including nineteen orchid taxa. Nevertheless, most of the orchid names (except eight) were synonymized under earlier available names. The purpose of this paper is to review the orchid names described by Dalzell. All of his collections went to K in parts (some duplicates were later distributed to CAL, DD, and GH), and some of the drawings have been distributed to E and BM. The orchid collections from western India by Dalzell, J.S. Law (1810–1885), and D. Ritchie (1809–1866) housed at K were arranged and labelled by J.E. Stocks (1820–1854) and are briefly discussed here along with the associated drawings. Confusion in the application of two names, Dendrobium filiforme Wight and D. dalzellii Hook. is discussed, and a new combination Porpax dalzellii ( Hook.) Nandikar & Bramhad. comb. nov. is proposed. The earliest names, Habenaria laciniata Dalzell and Habenaria modesta Dalzell, are resurrected against Habenaria gibsonii Hook.f. and Habenaria ovalifolia Wight respectively. A note on their taxonomic flux with congeneric taxa is also provided with photographs. The protologues and remnants of Dalzell’s collection do not indicate the precise original material, and some material is likely to have been lost. Except for Micropera Lindl., Dalzell’s remaining orchid names included here are typified.