Large Nun's Orchid
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Large Nun's Orchid
P Native Photo: M. Sawmliana
Common name: Large Nun's Orchid • Mizo: Lei-nauban
Botanical name: Phaius wallichii    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Calanthe wallichii, Phaius magniflorus, Phaius sanderi

Large Nun's Orchid is a large sized, warm to cool growing terrestrial orchid, with spindle-shaped to cylindric-ovoid pseudobulb. The pseudobulbs carry about 4, green, oblong-elliptic, pleated, hairless, tapering leaves. The plant blooms in late spring on an erect, hairless, up to 100 cm long, up to more than 10 flowered inflorescence arising from the lower nodes on the pseudobulb. The inflorescence has ovate-lanceshaped, hairless floral bracts, and carrying widely opening flowers. The plant is very different from Nun's Orchid. They are much larger, the inflorescence is over 6 feet tall, carrying 16 or more large flowers. The flowers face forward whereas Nun's Orchid flowers look down. The base color of the flowers is an ochre yellow-with a yellow brown overlay. Nun's Orchid is white. Nun's Orchid is found in Bhutan, the eastern Himalayas, SE Asia, Sri Lanka and Western Ghats, at altitudes of 900-1300 m.

Identification credit: M. Sawmliana Photographed in Ailawng area, Mizoram & Meghalaya.

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