They were clearly the belles of the ball and practically everyone who was present took their pictures. The stunning orchids drew admiring glances and comments, keeping R.P. Pant very happy here on Thursday.

The cymbidium varieties of orchids from the northeast, which was displayed by the National Research Centre for Orchids, at Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR) here as part of an investors' meet, was the cynosure of all eyes as visitors thronged the stall to get a closer look.

Entranced

“People were curious about the orchids, and many came to check if they were natural or synthetic. These cymbidiums attracted hordes of visitors,” Dr. Pant, senior scientist in plant pathology at the NRC, told The Hindu. “Many people could not believe that these orchids were [the real thing].”

Temperate regions

Grown in temperate regions, cymbidiums in India are mostly farmed in Sikkim, Darjeeling hills and Arunachal Pradesh.

Available in myriad colours, they are in high demand in the market.

The shelf life of cymbidiums exceeds 30 days and they can survive for more than three months on the plant.

Bandaru Srinivas Rao, a national award-winning farmer from Guntur in Andhra Pradesh, was enchanted by the stunning blooms.

“They are so colourful that I thought they were the usual plastic flowers you see everywhere in the market,” Mr. Rao said.

Difficult to grow

While orchids in dendrobium and paphiupedilum varieties are grown in Karnataka, cymbidiums are difficult to grow here, Dr. Pant said and added that they were displayed to create awareness on orchids.

As part of the investors' meet in the city, several horticulture products brought out by the public sector institutions were displayed.

Directors of over 10 institutes from across the country, besides seed manufacturers and representatives of private companies, attended the meet.

Keywords: HorticultureOrchidsIIHR

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