Creamy Orchis
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Creamy Orchis
P Native Photo: Jambey Tsering
Common name: Creamy Orchis
Botanical name: Hsenhsua chrysea    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Chusua chrysea, Orchis chrysea, Habenaria chrysea, Ponerorchis chrysea

Creamy Orchis is a mini-miniature sized, tree-dwelling orchid with a spherical tuber giving rise to a stem enveloped by 1-2, leafless sheaths below and 2 basal, nearly opposite, oblong to oblong-lanceshaped, pointed leaves and bracteate above. The plant blooms in the summer on an erect, single flowered inflorescence with a large, leaf-like, inverted-lanceshaped, pointed, shorter to longer than the ovary floral bract and carrying fragrant flowers. Flower are creamy white or yellow, medium-sized; flower-stalk 1.0-1.5 cm; ovary spindle-shaped, about 1 cm, hairless. Dorsal sepal is erect, oblong-lanceshaped, concave, 9-15 x 3.5-4.5 mm, tip tapering; lateral sepals sickle shaped-lanceshaped, oblique, 9-16 x about 3 mm, tip tapering. Petals are erect, forming a loose hood with dorsal sepal, broadly ovate, oblique, 8.5-15 x 4.5-7 mm, hairless, tip blunt. Lip is spreading, broadly ovate-triangular, slightly concave, simple to obscurely 3-lobed, about 12 x 8-12 mm, slightly fleshy, thickened along midvein, spurred, margin slightly crenulate; spur drooping, cylindric, 1.2-2.5 cm, slightly narrowed toward tapering tip. Creamy Orchis is found in Bhutan to NE India, China, at altitudes of 3400-4200 m. Flowering: August-September.

Identification credit: Jambey Tsering Photographed in Kurung Kumey, Arunachal Pradesh.

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