East-Asian Pleione
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East-Asian Pleione
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: East-Asian Pleione
Botanical name: Pleione hookeriana    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Coelogyne hookeriana, Pleione laotica

East-Asian Pleione is named for Hooker, th director of Kew, English Orchid botanist of 1800's. It is a small sized, cool to cold growing orchid found growing on trees, rock or on the ground. It has conical, clustered pseudobulbs carrying a single, apical, persistent, plicate, elliptic-lanceolate, pointed leaf that tapers gradually to the leaf-stalk base. The plant blooms as the new growths are appearing in the mid-spring and summer on a slender, sheathed, 12 cm long, single flowered inflorescence with tubular, obliquely truncate, obtuse floral bract. Flower are solitary, small; sepals and petals pale purplish red to nearly white, lip white with a yellow center and purple or yellowish brown spots. Flower-stalk and ovary are 1-2 cm. Dorsal sepal is nearly oblong or oblanceolate, 20-35 x 6-10 mm, tip pointed; lateral sepals are lanceolate, falcate, slightly oblique, usually as wide as but slightly shorter than dorsal sepal, tip pointed. Petals are inverted-lanceshaped, 20-35 x 5-7 mm, tip pointed; lip oblate or subcordate, 25-40 x 27-45 mm, obscurely 3-lobed, apical margin irregularly toothed or almost entire, apex notched. Capsule is nearly suboblong, 1-2.5 cm. East-Asian Pleione is found in the Himalayas, in Bhutan, NE India, N Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, at altitudes of 1600-3100 m. Flowering: April-June.

Identification credit: Pankaj Kumar, Sanjyoti Subba Photographed in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh & Yakchey, North Sikkim.

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