Bee Orchid
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Bee Orchid
ative Photo: Pravin Kawale
Common name: Bee Orchid • Marathi: भ्रमरी Bharmari
Botanical name: Cottonia peduncularis    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Vanda peduncularis, Cottonia macrostachya

Bee Orchid is so named because the lip of the flower resembles a bee. Scientists believe that the flower-lip mimics a female bee sitting on the flower. It attracts the male bee, thus helping in the pollination of the flower. In slightly shaded but open trees one can encounter this large epiphytic orchid somewhat rarely with elongate stem and channeled and bilobed leaves. Flowers are borne in long, 2-3-branched panicles carried on long stalks. Flowers are stalked, at the tip of peduncled branches. Sepals and petals are brown, veined with red. Lip is stalkless, fleshy and 3-lobed with midlobe dark purple. The lateral lobes are small with soft short hairs and yellowish. Bee orchid is found in semi-evergreen to moist deciduous forests of South India. Flowering: March-August.

Identification credit: Satish Phadke Photographed at Karnala Bird Sanctuary, Maharashtra.

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