Butterfly Orchid
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Butterfly Orchid
P Native Photo: P.S. Sivaprasad
Common name: Butterfly Orchid, Awl-Shaped Papilionanthe
Botanical name: Papilionanthe subulata    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Papilionanthe cylindrica (Lindl.) Seidenf., Aerides cylindrica, Limodorum subulatum

Butterfly Orchid is an orchid found growing on trees. Leaves are up to 10 x 0.2 cm, cylindrical. Flowers are borne in racemes in leaf-axils, opposite the leaves, 2-5-flowered. Flowers are fragrant, white, sometimes flushed with pale pink. Sepals are 12 x 8 mm, ovate, blunt at tip, fleshy. Petals are 12 x 8 mm, broadly ovate, blunt, fleshy. Lip is yellow, 3-lobed, lobes equal, side lobes erect, middle lobes recurved; spur 8 mm, conical, blunt at tip. Flower-stalks with ovary is about 1.5 cm. Fruit is 4 cm long, slightly winged. Butterfly Orchid is found in South India and Sri Lanka. Flowering: February-April.

Identification credit: P.S. Sivaprasad Photographed in Anamalai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu.

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