Andaman Zeuxine
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Andaman Zeuxine
P Native Photo: Aditya Gadkari
Common name: Andaman Zeuxine
Botanical name: Zeuxine rolfeana    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)

Andaman Zeuxine is a terrestrial orchid, 30-50 cm tall. It is named for the 20th century English botanist Robert Allen Rolfe, who studied orchids. Stems are 5-8 cm long, 2-4 mm thick, erect, unbranched, few membranous leaf-bases. Leaf-stalk 0.6-1.6 cm long, sheathing at base; blade 1.6-6.3 x 0.9-2.7 cm, obliquely lanceshaped to ovate-lanceshaped, blunt at base, somewhat pointed at tip, 3-veined. Flowers are borne in a at branch-end raceme, densely many-flowered, velvet-hairy, carried on flower-cluster-stalk up to 28 cm long. Flowers are 0.7-1 cm long, erect, presented upside down. Sepals are free, velvet-hairy; dorsal sepal 3.2-4.7 x 1.6-2 mm, ovate-elliptic to almost- triangular, pointed at tip, adnate to petals to form a hood around column; lateral sepals 3-5 x 1.5-1.8 mm, ovate-lanceshaped, pointed at tip. Petals are 3-4.5 x 1.3-2 mm (at widest portion), broadly triangular-sickle shaped, pointed at tip, hairless, 1-veined. Lip is 4-5.5 mm long, longer than sepals and petals, smooth in living state, wrinkled and rough in dry state. Ovary including flower-stalk is 5-8 x 2-3 mm, elliptic-oblong, twisted, velvet-hairy. Andaman Zeuxine is endemic to Andaman & Nicobar. Flowering: March-April.

Identification credit: Aditya Gadkari, Avishek Bhattacharjee Photographed in Mount Harriet National Park, Andaman & Nicobar.

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