Red Spider Orchid
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Red Spider Orchid
ative Photo: Nayan Jyoti Gogoi
Common name: Red Spider Orchid
Botanical name: Arachnis cathcartii    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Arachnanthe cathcartii, Esmeralda cathcartii, Vanda cathcartii

Red Spider Orchid is a giant sized, warm to cool growing, vanda-like epiphytic orchid with an elongate stem. It was named for James F. Cathcart, member of the Indian Civil Service and amateur botanist of the 19th century. Alternately arranged leaves are oblong, leathery. The plant blooms in the spring and summer on a stout, axillary, 18 cm long, pendulous or horizontal, 3-6 flowered inflorescence. Flowers are waxy, very fragrant, long-lived flowers. For cultivation, the plant needs a wood slat basket and cultural conditions similar to Vanda. Red Spider Orchid is found in the NE India, eastern Himalayas, Nepal, Bhutan and Sikkim in tropical broadleaf forests near streams in cool shade at elevations of 600-2000 m.

Identification credit: Nayan Jyoti Gogoi Photographed in Mouling National Park, Arunachal Pradesh.

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