Chinese Ground Orchid
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Chinese Ground Orchid
P Introduced Photo: Gary Thingnam
Common name: Chinese Ground Orchid, Hyacinth orchid
Botanical name: Bletilla striata    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Cymbidium striatum, Epidendrum striatum, Jimensia striata

Chinese Ground Orchid is a terrestrial orchid 18-60 cm tall. Flowers are erect or spreading, purplish red or pink, large; flower-stalk and ovary twisted, 1.0-2.4 cm. Petals and sepals are purplish red or pink, narrowly oblong, 14-32 x 4-11 mm, petals slightly larger. Lip is white, tinged with purplish red, with purplish veins, obovate-elliptic, 1.4-2.8 x 1.0-1.8 cm. Column is almost round, 1.4-2 cm, slender, dilated toward tip, with narrow wings; rostellum large. Stem is 3-25 cm, stout, enclosing several long tubular sheaths, 4-6-leaved. Leaves are widely spaced or clustered toward tip of stem, pleated, narrowly oblong to lanceshaped-elliptic, 8-29 x 1.5-4 cm, base contracted into stem-clasping sheath, tip tapering. Flower-cluster-stalk is 14-34 cm, slender, axis flexuous, sometimes drooping, 2-7 cm, simple or sometimes branched, 3-10-flowered. Capsules are up to 3.4 cm. Chinese Ground Orchid is native to Myanmar, China to Japan. Flowering: April-May.
Medicinal uses: The tubers of Chinese Ground Orchid have been utilized in Traditional Chinese Medicine for various ailments, such as hematemesis, tuberculosis, malignant ulcers, hemorrhoids, traumatic bleeding, and chapped skin.

Identification credit: Tabish, Pankaj Kumar Photographed in cultivation in Imphal, Manipur.

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