Long-Stem Herpysma
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Long-Stem Herpysma
P Native Photo: Jambey Tsering
Common name: Long-Stem Herpysma
Botanical name: Herpysma longicaulis    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Erythrodes bracteata, Herpysma bracteata, Herpysma sumatrana

Long-Stem Herpysma is a medium sized, terrestrial orchid with a long, creeping at base, erect higher up stem carrying to 9 ovate to ovate-lancolate, shortly tapering, pointed, narrowing below into the grooved stalked base leaves. The plant blooms in the winter on a branch-end, velvet-hairy, up to 25 cm long, almost spherical raceme, densely 8 to many flowered, with oblong-lanceshaped, blunt, ribbed floral bracts that are longer than the ovary. Flowers are white; sepals and petals sometimes orange or pink above middle; ovary 1.2-1.5 cm including flower-stalk. Dorsal sepal is ovate, boat-shaped, 8-9 x 4-4.5 mm, tip pointed and recurved. Lateral sepals are spreading, narrowly oblong, concave, 10-11 x 2-2.5 mm, tip blunt. Petals are narrowly rhombic-obovate, 9-10 x 4.5-4.7 mm, thinly textured, tip blunt. Lip is reflexed above middle, slightly shorter than sepals, base with 2 rounded toothed, erect lateral lobes, tip bluntly with a short sharp point; spur drooping, parallel to ovary, 7-10 mm. Long-Stem Herpysma is found in Nepal, Bhutan, NE India, China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, altitudes of about 1200 m. Flowering: August-September.

Identification credit: Jambey Tsering Photographed in Sessa, West Kameng, Arunachal Pradesh.

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