Ram's Horn Habenaria
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Ram's Horn Habenaria
P Native Photo: Jambey Tsering
Common name: Ram's Horn Habenaria
Botanical name: Habenaria arietina    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Ochyrorchis arietina, Habenaria pectinata var. arietina

Ram's Horn Habenaria is a small to medium sized, terrestrial orchid with a spindle-shaped tuber giving rise to a leafy, wide at the base tapering above stem and carrying distichous, distant, lanceshaped to ovate-lanceshaped, pointed to somewhat tapering, stalkless leaves, becoming smaller up the stem. The plant blooms in the summer on a hairless, 15 to 18 cm long, densely many flowered inflorescence with leaf-like, narrowly lanceshaped, pointed, 5 veined bracts and carrying long-lasting, fragrant flowers. Flowers are white or greenish white. Sepals are 5-veined, fringed with hairs; dorsal sepal erect, oblong, concave, about 19 x 6 mm, tip pointed; lateral sepals reflexed, obliquely sickle shaped-lanceshaped, about 20 x 6 mm, tip pointed. Petals form a hood with dorsal sepal, obliquely obovate-sickle shaped, about 19 x 8 mm, 5-veined, above velvet-hairy, margin fringed with hairs, unlobed. Lip is about 3 cm, base spurred, deeply 3-lobed above base; lobes linear, nearly equal in length, fringed with hairs; lateral lobes about 2.2 cm, outer margin with 10 thread-like lobules; mid-lobe about 2 mm wide. Spur is drooping, cylindric-club-shaped, 3.5-4 cm, about as long as or slightly longer than ovary, slightly dilated below middle, tip blunt. Ram's Horn Habenaria is found in Nepal, NE India, Bhutan, China, at altitudes of 2300-2400 m. Flowering: August.

Identification credit: Jambey Tsering Photographed in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh.

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