Elwes Habenaria
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Elwes Habenaria
P Native Photo: P.S. Sivaprasad
Common name: Elwes Habenaria
Botanical name: Habenaria elwesii    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Ate elwesii

Elwes Habenaria is an uncommon terrestrial orchid, 40-70 cm tall, with stem 20-40 cm high. It is named for Henry John Elwes, 19th century British plant collector, author and naturalist. Leaves are 8-15 x 2.5-3.5 cm, elliptic or oblong, lanceshaped, tapering, scattered in the upper two third. Flowers are 5 x 1 cm, borne in lax raceme; bracts 4-5 x 0.8 cm, lanceshaped, tapering, leaf-like. Dorsal sepals are green, 15 x 10 mm, elliptic, pointed; laterals sepals green, 24 x 7 mm, elliptic, tapering. Petals are white, 2.6 cm x 7 mm, bipartite, lobes linear; upper lobe bearded; lip greenish-white, 3 cm long, 3-lobed; lobes thread-like; spur 2.3 cm long; ovary with flower-stalk 2.8 cm long. Elwes Habenaria is endemic to Southern Western Ghats. Flowering: August-September.

Identification credit: P.S. Sivaprasad Photographed in Silent Valley National Park, Palakkad distt, Kerala.

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