Orchid Vine
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Orchid Vine
P Introduced Photo: Sarika Ahuja
Common name: Orchid Vine, Phanera, Climbing Bauhinia, Vining Bauhinia, Camel's Foot, Phanera Fairy Vine
Botanical name: Cheniella corymbosa    Family: Caesalpiniaceae (Gulmohar family)
Synonyms: Bauhinia corymbosa, Phanera corymbosa

Orchid Vine is a woody climber, with leaf-axil branches modified into circinate tendrils. Leaves are two-lobed, 2.5-5 cm long, divided almost upto the base, common midrib very short, provided with a short spur at the tip, lobes rounded, the two leaflets fold together at night. Leaf-stalks are upto 2.5 cm long. Flowers are borne in long stalked racemes or corymbs. Flowers are fragrant, flower-stalk upto 2.5 cm long. Petals are white, with pink nerves, broadly spoon-shaped or nearly round, 8-11 x 6-8 mm, more or less crumpled. Fertile stamens are 3, posterior, filaments pink; staminodes 5, pink, anterior. Bract and bracteoles present, sepal-cup about 1.8-1.9 cm long, green in color, with l0 well marked ribs, covered with brownish hairs. Sepals are 5, about 6-7 mm long, red. Ovary is on a short stipe, red with a short style and spherical stigma. Pods are 10-13 cm long, 1.7-1.8 cm broad, thin, smooth, dark brown. Type: Described from China and India. Orchid Vine is native to East China to Vietnam, cultivated in gardens as an ornamental shrub. Flowering: April-June.

Identification credit: Sarika Ahuja Photographed in cultivation.

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