Giant Egret Flower
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Giant Egret Flower
P Native Photo: Ushaprabha Page
Common name: Giant Egret Flower, Butterfly Orchid • Marathi: वाघचोरा Waghchora
Botanical name: Pecteilis gigantea    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Habenaria gigantea, Orchis gigantea, Platanthera gigantea

Giant Egret Flower is a medium to large sized ground orchid, up to 3 ft tall. It is often confused with Susanna's Egret Flower. Leaves are up to 10 x 7 cm, ovate-lanceshaped, pointed, stalkless, scattered. Flowers are white, 9-10 x 8 cm, racemes at branch-ends, 2-4-flowered; bracts 7.5 x 3 cm, ovate-tapering, leaf-like; dorsal sepal 4 x 5 cm, rhomboid, 7-9-veined; lateral sepals 5 x 2.5 cm, oblique at base, oblong, subpointed, blunt, 7-9-veined; petals 3.5 x 2-4 mm, linear, sickle shaped, blunt; lip 15 x 7 cm, including 12-13 x 0.5 cm cylindrical spur, 3-lobed; lateral lobes laciniate; midlobe oblong-lanceshaped, blunt; spur long, cylindrical; column short, foot absent; pollinia 2, granular, with long caudicle. Giant Egret Flower is found in the Himalayas, Western Ghats, and Burma.

Identification credit: Pankaj Kumar Photographed in Western Ghats.

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