Giant Spider Orchid
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Giant Spider Orchid
P Native Photo: Jambey Tsering
Common name: Giant Spider Orchid
Botanical name: Arachnis clarkei    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Esmeralda clarkei, Arachnanthe clarkei, Vanda clarkei

Giant Spider Orchid is a large to giant sized, tree-dwelling or rock-dwelling orchid with an elongate pendant stem carrying oblong-lorate, leathery leaves. The plant blooms in the fall to late winter on a 20 cm long, 3 to 4 flowered inflorescence with slightly fragrant flowers. Flowers open widely, are pale yellow with reddish brown transverse stripes, 5.5-7.5 cm in diameter, thickly textured; flower-stalk and ovary about 3 cm. Dorsal sepal inverted-lanceshaped-elliptic, about 3.5 x 1-1.2 cm, blunt; lateral sepals obovate-elliptic, sickle shaped, 3-3.2 x 0.9-1.2 cm. Petals are somewhat spoon-shaped, curved, 2.8-3.1 x 0.9-1.1 cm, blunt; lip drooping, about 1.7 cm, 3-lobed; claw about 2 mm. Column is club-shaped, 1.2-1.4 cm, stout. Giant Spider Orchid is native to Central Himalaya to China and parts of SE Asia.

Identification credit: Jambey Tsering Photographed in Sessa Orchid Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh.

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