Phoenix Orchid
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Phoenix Orchid
P Native Photo: Jambey Tsering
Common name: Phoenix Orchid, Day's Cymbidium, Tree orchid
Botanical name: Cymbidium dayanum    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Cymbidium eburneum var. dayanum

Phoenix Orchid is a medium sized, tree-dwelling or terrestrial orchid growing low down on tree trunks, with indistinct, strongly compressed-ellipsoid pseudobulbs enveloped by scarious, persistent leaf bases and cataphylls, and carrying 5-12, disitichous, narrow-linear, dark green, slightly leathery, pale green, pointed to tapering, stalkless leaves. The plant blooms in the summer and fall on a basal, erect to pendant, 5-15 flowered, 22.5 cm long, racemose flowering stem subtended with pink veined sheaths and triangular, pointed, purplish floral bracts. Flowers are usually not fragrant, 4-5 cm in diameter; flower-stalk and ovary 1-2 cm, elongating in fruit; sepals and petals white or cream-yellow, with a central maroon stripe extending from base to slightly above middle or occasionally wholly tinged pale purplish red. Lip is maroon, tinged white at its base and at center of mid-lobe, lateral lobes with dense white stripes. Sepals are porrect, narrowly oblong-elliptic, 22-27 x 5-7 mm, tip pointed or tapering. Petals are narrowly ovate-oblong, 17-23 x 4-6 mm. Lip is almost ovate, 15-19 mm, 3-lobed; lateral lobes nearly as long as column; mid-lobe recurved, 7-9 mm. Phoenix Orchid is found in East Himalaya, China, to SE Asia and Japan, at altitudes of 300-1600 m. Flowering: August-December.

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

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