Crowned-Lip Eria
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Crowned-Lip Eria
ative Photo: Siddarth Machado
Common name: Crowned-Lip Eria
Botanical name: Eria coronaria    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Eria cylindripoda, Coelogyne coronaria, Eria suavis

Crowned-Lip Eria is a miniature to medium sized, warm to cold growing orchid found on tree or mossy limestone rocks. Plants are hairless, turning black when dried. Rhizomes are creeping, 4-5 mm in diameter, often with funnel-shaped sheaths 6-7 mm. Pseudobulbs are cylindric, 5-15 cm x 3-6 mm. Leaves are 2, at branch-ends, stalkless, narrowly elliptic or obovate-elliptic, rarely ovate-lanceshaped, 6-16 x 1-4 cm, pointed or blunt. Flowers arising between leaves, in 10-30 cm long, 2-6-flowered clusters. Floral bracts are lanceshaped or linear, rarely ovate-lanceshaped, 5-8 mm. Flowers are white, with purple stripes on lip, flower-stalk and ovary about 1.5 cm. Dorsal sepal is elliptic-lanceshaped, about 17 x 5 mm, blunt, lateral sepals sickle shaped-lanceshaped, about 15 x 5 mm, blunt. Petals are oblong-lanceshaped, about 17 x 4.5 mm, blunt; lip oblong in outline, 14-15 x 11-12 mm, 3-lobed; lateral lobes divaricate, nearly round or suboblong; mid-lobe triangular or subsquare, about 5 x 4 mm, pointed or subflat; disk with 3 entire or wavy lamellae running from base to mid-lobe and with 2-4 additional rounded toothed or wavy lamellae on mid-lobe. Column about 5 mm, foot about 5 mm. Capsules are obovoid-cylindric, about 2 cm; fruiting flower-stalk about 3 mm. Crowned-Lip Eria is found in the Himalayas, from Nepal to Bhutan, Assam, SE Tibet, W. China, at altitudes of 200-2300 m. It is also found in the Western Ghats. Flowering: October-November.

Identification credit: Pankaj Kumar Photographed in Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, Tamil Nadu.

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