Herb Calanthe
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Herb Calanthe
P Native Photo: Jambey Tsering
Common name: Herb Calanthe
Botanical name: Calanthe herbacea    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Alismorkis herbacea, Calanthe elytroglossa, Alismorkis elytroglossa

Herb Calanthe is a medium to large sized, tree-dwelling orchid with short spindle-shaped, curved, about 5 internoded pseudobulbs carrying 3 to 5, broadly to narrowly elliptic, tapering, stalked leaves. The plant blooms in the late spring and summer on a at branch-ends, on 20-70 cm long, laxly 6-20 flowered, velvet-hairy, ridged inflorescence with oblong-ovate, pointed, adpressed, distant bracts and lanceshaped, pointed floral bracts and carrying flowers that are not fragrant. Flowers are yellowish green; flower-stalk and ovary about 3 cm, finely velvet-hairy. Dorsal sepal reflexed, obovate-lanceshaped, about 15 x 7 mm, below finely velvet-hairy, 5-veined, tip blunt and with a short sharp point; lateral sepals reflexed, elliptic. Petals are reflexed, almost spoon-shaped, about 12 x 2-2.5 mm, hairless, tip blunt; lip adnate to entire length of column wings, deeply 3-lobed; lateral lobes ovate, 6-7 x about 5 mm, tip obliquely flat; mid-lobe divided by a deep sinus into 2 lobules, apiculate in sinus; lobules divergent, about as large as lateral lobes; disk with a cluster of yellow wartlike calli at base; spur slightly arcuate, yellowish green, 2-3 cm, slender, outside finely velvet-hairy, tip blunt. Herb Calanthe is found in NE India to China and Vietnam, at altitudes of 1500-2100 m.

Identification credit: Jambey Tsering Photographed in Sessa, West Kameng, Arunachal Pradesh.

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