Biswasi Butterfly Orchid
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Biswasi Butterfly Orchid
P Native Photo: Thingnam Rajshree
Common name: Biswasi Butterfly Orchid
Botanical name: Papilionanthe biswasiana    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Aerides biswasiana

Biswasi Butterfly Orchid is a medium sized, cool growing orchid growing on trees, with an erect to pendulous, stout, often unbranched stem carrying well spaced, fleshy leaves which are round in cross section, 13-16 cm x 3-4 mm, abruptly contracted at tip and aristate. Flower clusters are often slightly shorter than leaves, 1-3-flowered. Flowers open widely, creamy white, sometimes tinged pale pink, large, thinly textured; flower-stalk and ovary about 3 cm. Sepals are similar, obovate, about 2 x 1 cm, blunt-rounded. Petals are inverted-lanceshaped, about 1.8 x 1.5 cm, base contracted, margin erose, tip rounded; lip spurred, 3-lobed; lateral lobes erect, parallel to column, bilobed; proximal lobule linear, about 1.7 cm, narrowed toward tip; distal lobule about 2 mm, tip notched; mid-lobe spreading, subflabellate, about 1.4 cm, deeply bilobed, base with a claw about 5 mm, with 3 fleshy keels above. Spur is cylindric, about 2.5 cm x 3 mm, narrowed toward tip, slightly hooked. Column is about 1 x 0.7 cm. Biswasi Butterfly Orchid is native to China South-Central, Myanmar, Thailand, but we found it growing in Manipur. Flowering: April.

Identification credit: Pankaj Kumar Photographed in Khangkhui, Ukhrul distt., Manipur.

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