Leafless Galeola
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Leafless Galeola
P Native Unknown Photo: Niku Das
Common name: Leafless Galeola
Botanical name: Galeola nudifolia    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Galeola hydra, Galeola torana, Vanilla rubiginosa

Leafless Galeola is a large to giant sized, up to 20 m, leafless, vine-like, terrestrial orchid with rusty red-brown velvet-hairy, climbing or sprawling, thick stems with 5-20 cm long internodes carrying triangular, broad-based, reddish scale leaves. The plant blooms on a many branched, each branch up to 2 cm apart, up to 30 cm long, inflorescence carrying the several to many, successively opening flowers towards the tip. Flowers are yellow, with orange-red veins above. Sepals are almost elliptic, 1.2-1.4 x 0.6-0.8 cm, lateral sepals obviously wider than dorsal sepal, below hairy when young. Petals are similar to dorsal sepal, hairless; lip nearly round, strongly concave, slightly shorter than sepals, shortly hairy above, near base with 1 callus. Column is strongly curved, about 5 mm. Leafless Galeola is found in E Himalaya to SE Asia, at altitudes of 400-2200 m. Flowering: April-June.

Identification credit: Khyanjeet Gogoi, Dipankar Borah Photographed in Behali Wildlife Sanctuary, Sonitpur District, Assam.

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