Himalayan Fragrant Orchid
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Himalayan Fragrant Orchid
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Himalayan Fragrant Orchid • Nepali: हात्ति जरा Hati jara
Botanical name: Gymnadenia orchidis    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Gymnadenia cylindrostachya, Gymnadenia himalayica, Habenaria orchidis, Orchis habenaroides

Himalayan Fragrant Orchid is a terrestrial orchid, growing to 1-2 ft tall. Tuberoids are palmately divided. The leafy stem are rather stout. Leaves 3-5, are large, erect, oblong, pointed, up to 12 cm long and 3.5 cm wide. Flowers are borne in very dense, cylindric spike, 10 cm long. Bracts are ovate-lanceshaped, pointed. Flowers are rose-violet, pleasantly scented. Dorsal sepal is ovate, 5 x 3 mm, forming a loose hood together with the petals. Lateral sepals are narrower, oblong, 6 x 2.5 mm, spreading outwards. Petals are broadly obliquely-ovate, 5 x 4 mm. Lip is angular-ovate in outline, usually broader than long, 5 x 5.5 mm, wedge- shaped towards the base, shallowly 3-lobed at the tip. Spur is slender, cylindric, pointed, 1.5-1.8 cm long, filled with nectar. Ovary is slightly twisted. The fragrance of the flowers is very similar to the European Fragrant Orchid Gymnadenia conopsea. Himalayan Fragrant Orchid is found in the Himalayas, from Pakistan to Bhutan, at altitudes of 2500-4800 m. Flowering: July-August.

Identification credit: Prashant Awale
Photographed in Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand.
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