Lichen Split-Lip Orchid
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Lichen Split-Lip Orchid
P Native Unknown Photo: M. Sawmliana
Common name: Lichen Split-Lip Orchid
Botanical name: Chiloschista usneoides    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Epidendrum usneoides, Sarcochilus usneoides

Lichen Split-Lip Orchid is an almost leafless, miniature tree-dwelling or rock-dwelling orchid with many long, twisted, clustered roots and blooms in the summer on an erect, velvet-hairy, flexuous, 5.5-11 cm long, raceme with a few fragrant flowers. Flowers are nearly stalkless, lightly fragrant, 0.5-1.3 across, pink to white; flower-stalk and ovary densely hairy velvet-hairy, about 5 mm long. Sepals are similar, oblong, blunt, 5 veined, 6 x 4 mm. Petals are spreading, ovate, blunt, 5 veined, 6 x 4-5mm. Lip is gibbous sac-like at base, clawed, split into 3 lobes. The split-lip characteristic of this genus led to the genus name Chiloschista (cheilos: "lip", schistos: "split"). Lateral lobes of the lip are linear oblong, blunt, 4-5 x 2-2.5 mm; mid lobe flat, notched; sac 2 x 3.5 mm; disc between lateral lobes densely velvet-hairy. Column is 1.5-2 mm. Lichen Split-Lip Orchid is found in the Himalaya to Myanmar, at altitudes of 1600-1700 m.

Identification credit: Pankaj Kumar Photographed in Hmuifang tlang, Mizoram.

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