Orchids are a group of plants, mostly herbaceous in nature, belonging to the family orchidaceae. Many of the species are known for their brilliantly coloured flowers and hence of horticultural importance.
In India there are about 1000 species of orchids chiefly concentrated in the Himalayas, north-eastern region and Peninsular India.
In the Western Ghats there are about 300 species, of which 117 are endemic. Genera with high representation of endemic species in the Western Ghats are Bulbophyllum(11 species), Dendrobium (9 species), Eria (9 species), Habenaria (23 species) andOberonia (13 species).
Of the endemic species reported from the Western Ghats four species are believed to be extinct, 44 critically endangered, 23 endangered and 16 vulnerable.
Two orchidaria each measuring 16X10m have been built inside the arboretum. One of the two orchidaria is meant for maintaining wild orchids of the Western Ghats and the other is for commercial orchids.