Hairy Slipper Orchid
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Hairy Slipper Orchid
P Native Photo: Amber Srivastava
Common name: Hairy Slipper Orchid, Villose Paphiopedilum • Mizo: Zawnga-tuikhur
Botanical name: Paphiopedilum villosum    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Cordula villosa, Cypripedium villosum

Hairy Slipper Orchid is a large sized, cool to cold growing, clump forming humus epiphytic orchid, characterized by 4-5 narrowly lanceshaped to linear-strap-shaped, nearly erect, unequally, pointedly bilobed at tip, dark yellow green, purple spotted beneath near the base of the leaves. It blooms on a nearly erect to arching, up to 30 cm long inflorescence bearing a single, glossy flower. Flower is 8-13 cm in diameter, dorsal sepal greenish or yellowish to whitish, centrally blackish maroon spotted or with a deep maroon or blackish maroon area; synsepal greenish to yellowish white; petals with a deep maroon central stripe, on upper side of central stripe pale maroon with deep maroon veins. Lip is pale maroon obscurely with darker veins; staminode yellowish, flushed with pale maroon, centrally with a yellow or green umbo. Dorsal sepal broadly elliptic to obovate, 4-6.5 x 2.2-4.5 cm. Synsepal is elliptic-ovate to narrowly ovate, usually 4-5 x 1.7-2.8 cm. Petals are spoon-shaped-obovate, 5-6.5 x 2.2-4.5 cm, above purple hairy at base, fringed with hairs, blunt to flat at tip; lip helmet-shaped, 5-6.5 cm; pouch 2.5-4 × 2.5-3.5 cm. Staminode is inverted-heart-shaped to obovate, 10-15 x 8-11 mm, above with bubblelike papillae and a central umbo, subflat at tip. Hairy Slipper Orchid is found on tree trunks or branches in open forests, sunny cliffs, crevices of rocks, rocky places, at altitudes of 1100-2000 m in Eastern Himalayas, in Yunnan, NE India, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam.

Identification credit: Amber Srivastava Photographed at Botanical Survey of India, Shillong.

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