Himalayan Deep-Purple Liparis
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Himalayan Deep-Purple Liparis
P Native Photo: Jambey Tsering
Common name: Himalayan Deep-Purple Liparis
Botanical name: Liparis cathcartii    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Leptorkis cathcartii

Himalayan Deep-Purple Liparis is a miniature sized, terrestrial orchid with ovoid pseudobulbs enveloped by white, membraneous sheaths and carrying 2, elliptic, ovate to ovate-oblong, herbaceous, slightly crisp margined, stalked base leaves. It was named for James F. Cathcart, member of the Indian Civil Service and amateur botanist of the 19th century. The plant blooms in the late spring and early summer on an erect, round, slightly flattened, narrowly winged, 7.5-25 cm long, raceme which is several to 10 flowered. Flowers are pink, occasionally green or purple; flower-stalk and ovary 7-8 mm. Sepals are narrowly oblong, 7-9 x about 2.5 mm, inprominently 3-veined, tip blunt; lateral sepals slightly oblique. Petals are nearly thread-like, 7-9 x about 0.4 mm, 1-veined. Lip is obovate to elliptic-obovate, 8-9 x 7-8 mm, base contracted, usually with 2 short longitudinal lamellae, very rarely lamellae inprominent, margin irregularly toothed. Column is arcuate, 3-3.5 mm, base dilated and thick, tip winged. Himalayan Deep-Purple Liparis is found in Nepal to Bhutan, NE India, China, at altitudes of 1900-2500 m. Flowering: June-July.

Identification credit: Jambey Tsering Photographed in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh.

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