Bracted Pinalia
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Bracted Pinalia
P Native Photo: Paulmathi Vinod
Common name: Bracted Pinalia
Botanical name: Pinalia bractescens    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Eria bractescens, Dendrobium subterrestre, Eria littoralis

Bracted Pinalia is a small to medium sized, hot to cool growing orchid growing on the upper branches and forks of tall trees with very stout, erect, egg shaped to nearly cylindrical, swollen, fleshy pseudobulbs. Pseudobulbs are 2 to 3 noded below the leaves, green aging to green/red brown with white longitudinal striped. They are enveloped at the base by a few scarious sheaths and carry 2 apical, elliptical to oblong, green, thick, leathery leaves which are blunt to rounded and unequally bilobed at the tip, gradually narrowing below into the narrowly clasping base. The plant blooms in the summer on a short, up to 15 cm inflorescence in leaf-axils, nearly erect to spreading, purple to brown velvet-hairy, bracteate, raceme-like. Inflorescence is creamy white arising from near the tip of the mature pseudobulb with a basal, triangular bract and 5-7 oblong, white, hairless bracts below the flowers and a reflexed, concave, oblong-elliptic, apiculate, hairless floral bract and carrying many (up to 15) fragrant flowers all crowded onto the upper half. Bracted Pinalia is found in trees in the lowland forest of Assam, Bangladesh, Eastern Himalayas, Nepal, Andaman Islands, Myanamar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Borneo, Java, Sumatra, Moluccas, Sulawesi and the Philippines at elevations of 20-1800 m.

Identification credit: Paulmathi Vinod Photographed in Andaman & Nicobar.

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