Himalayan Ladies-Tresses
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Himalayan Ladies-Tresses
P Native Photo: Shivani Negi
Common name: Himalayan Ladies-Tresses
Botanical name: Spiranthes flexuosa    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Neottia flexuosa, Spiranthes himalayensis, Spiranthes densa

Himalayan Ladies-Tresses is a terrestrial orchid up to 30 cm tall, with linear-lanceshaped leaves.. Inflorescence is velvet-hairy. Flowers are borne in a lax to tightly coiled spiral, bell-shaped, held perpendicular to the flower-cluster-stalk, white to pale pink. Sepals are velvet-hairy. Dorsal sepal slightly to moderately upwardly recurved distally, lanceshaped, bluntly tapering, 3.5-4.0 mm long, about 1 mm wide when flattened. Lateral sepals are lanceshaped, pointed, 3.7-4.2 mm long, 1-1.4 mm wide. Petals are lanceshaped, bluntly pointed, slightly to strongly recurved at tips, with the dorsal sepal appearing star-shaped. Lip is recurved downward at about two-thirds the distance from the claw to lip tip, oblong to slightly constricted near the reflexion and then dilating below, margin entire to slightly undulating from the base until the area of recurvature, below point of recurvature margin becoming ruffled and lacerate. Lip is 4-4.5 mm long, 2-2.7 mm wide below the callosities, 1.7-2.1 mm wide at the area of recurvature when flattened, 2.0–2.6 mm wide at widest point below recurvature. Column is white dorsally, green ventrally, 1.7-2.2 mm long. Himalayan Ladies-Tresses is found in N. Afghanistan to the Himalayas to S. Central Japan and W. Malesia. It is also found in Western Ghats.

Identification credit: Ashutosh Sharma Photographed in Rudarparyag, Uttarakhand & Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh.

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