Comb Vanda
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Comb Vanda
ative Photo: Pankaj Kumar
Common name: Comb Trudelia • Nepali: हरचुर Harchur
Botanical name: Vanda cristata    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Trudelia cristata, Aerides cristatum, Luisia striata

Comb Trudelia is a forest orchid with stout stems that are 7.5-15 cm long. It grows on other plants. Leathery recurved leaves, 7.5-12.5 cm long and 1.2-1.8 cm broad are borne in two ranks along the stem. The leaf tips looked as if they have been torn off, with three irregular teeth. Short inflorescences carry 2-6 waxy, fragrant flowers on long twisted stalks close to the stem. The flowers are 4-5 cm across and have uniform yellow to green, narrow incurved sepals and petals. The thick, fleshy prominent lip is yellow, cream or white, striped with purple to maroon or red-brown. Its tapered lip mid-lobe bears two slender elongate processes or horn-like processes at the end, which look like tusks. Lip shape and color varies greatly. Not only does it vary from flower to flower on the same inflorescence but also markedly year to year on different flowerings of the same plant. Comb Trudelia is found in the Himalayas, from Uttarakhand to Arunachal Pradesh, at altitudes of 1000-2300 m. Flowering: May-June.

Identification credit: Pankaj Kumar Photographed in Dharamsala, Himachal Pradesh & Gangtok, Sikkim.

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