Shoe-Shaped Gastrochilus   
Foto info
Shoe-Shaped Gastrochilus
P Native Photo: Nimesh Chamling
Common name: Shoe-Shaped Gastrochilus
Botanical name: Gastrochilus calceolaris    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Aerides calceolaris, Gastrochilus philippinensis

Shoe-Shaped Gastrochilus is a critically endangered orchid growing on trees, having leaves arranged alternately in two opposite vertical rows. Blade is often sickle shaped, narrowly oblong, slightly fleshy, tip blunt and unequally 2-lobed. Inflorescences several to many, from upper part of stem, opposite to leaves. Flowers broadly opening; sepals and petals yellow, with purplish brown patterns. Sepals, obovate- oblong, 7-8× about 4 mm, base contracted, tip blunt-rounded. Petals are similar to sepals, slightly smaller, tip blunt-rounded; lip with an epichile and a saccatehypochile; epichile spreading forward, nearly round-triangular or lunate-triangular, 2-3 × 5-7 mm, above with long white hairs except on yellow and purple-spotted central cushion and with a cavity at base of cushion, margin irregularly fringed or erose; hypochile yellowish green with purplish red margin, helmetlike, about 5 mm tall, about 5 mm in diameter. Shoe-Shaped Gastrochilus is seen on tree trunks in forests at altitudes of 1000-2700 m, in the Himalayas, from Nepal to NE India, China, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines. Flowering March-April.

Identification credit: Nimesh Chamling Photographed in Barsey Rhododendron Sanctuary, Sikkim.

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