Nilgiri Oberonia
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Nilgiri Oberonia
P Native Photo: S. Jeevith
Common name: Nilgiri Oberonia
Botanical name: Oberonia swaminathanii    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)

Nilgiri Oberonia is an stemless orchid, found drooping from tree branches. It is named for M. S. Swaminathan, Chairman of the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai, India. Leaves are 4-6, pale green, jointed at base, 15-16 x 1.6-1.8 cm, distichous, oblong-ensiform, pointed or tapering at tip. Flowering stem is shorter than the larger leaf, up to 14 cm long, flattened, adnate to the reduced uppermost leaf. Flowers are borne in a many-flowered spike, about 13 cm long, with a distinct sterile about 1 cm long tip, slightly decurved; bracts slightly larger than the ovary and flower-stalk, about 2.0-1.5 mm, elliptic-oblong, deeply rounded toothed, somewhat pointed-rounded at tip, gland-dotted. Flowers are tiny, brick-red, spirally arranged, shortly stalked or nearly stalkless, about 4.2x1.4 mm, about 2 mm across. Capsules are short-stalked, crowned by the marcescent flower. Nilgiri Oberonia is endemic to Southern Western Ghats. Flowering: August-November.

Identification credit: S. Jeevith Photographed in the Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu.

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