Red-Capped Bulb-Leaf Orchid
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Red-Capped Bulb-Leaf Orchid
P Native Photo: Jambey Tsering
Common name: Red-Capped Bulb-Leaf Orchid
Botanical name: Bulbophyllum retusiusculum    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Phyllorkis retusiuscula, Bulbophyllum flavisepalum

Red-Capped Bulb-Leaf Orchid is a mini-miniature to miniature sized, tree-dwelling or occasionally rock-dwelling orchid with a creeping, branching rhizome with 1-3 cm between each slender, nearly erect to oblique, narrowly ovate-conical, weakly curved psuedobulb carrying a single, apical, erect leathery, semi flexible to rigid, linear oblong, blunt, leathery, leaf. The plant blooms in the summer and fall on a basal, rising up to descending, slender, 14 cm long, 6-12 flowered, umbel-like cluster with a few distant, carrying an apical umbel of several simultaneously opening, color variable flowers. Flowers are 1.5-2.5cm long; dorsal sepal deep violet spotted with darker purple, lateral sepals pale brown to yellow orange to pale yellow white lined with red, petals deep violet, spotted, lip purple with yellow streaks, column brownish; flower-stalk and ovary slender, hairless, 5-7 mm long. Dorsal sepal oblong ovate, blunt, 3 veined, 4-4.5 x 1-1.5mm; lateral sepals linear oblong, pointed, entire, 2.2-2.3 x 0.3-0.35 cm. Petals are spreading, broadly elliptic, curved, blunt, 3 veined, 3.8-4 x 1.5-2mm. Lip is simple, oblong, tapering to somewhat pointed, entire, centrally, grooved at base, 2.5-3mm long. Red-Capped Bulb-Leaf Orchid is found in Nepal to East Himalaya, Central China and Peninsula Malaysia, at altitudes of 500-2800 m. Flowering: September-December.

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

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