Rosy Ghost Orchid
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Rosy Ghost Orchid
ative Photo: Siddarth Machado
Common name: Rosy Ghost Orchid, Rose Epipogium
Botanical name: Epipogium roseum    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Epipogium indicum, Limodorum roseum

Rosy Ghost Epipogium is a medium sized, warm growing, small to large sized, hot to cool growing, erect, leafless, terrestrial orchid with an ovoid, horizontal tuber giving rise to an erect, 2 ft tall, hollow, fleshy stem. The stem is basally brownish and becoming nearly white towards the top and carrying a few distant bracts. The plant blooms on an erect, up to 80 cm long, many flowered inflorescence arising in the spring and summer. Flowers are pure white, cupped, looking down, about 1 cm long. The sepals and petals are elongate and look similar to each other. The lip is broader and a little frilled, but remains mostly cupped and inconspicuous. It has a few rosy speckles on it. The flower stem and the flower’s ovaries have a slight yellow brown color, but the overall impression is of a totally white plant. Pods form rapidly after the flowers have opened. Being a saprophytic plant (or more exactly, an ectoparasite) it bears no leaves and has no noticeable green color. Rose Epipogium is found in Africa, Himalayas, Nepal, Bhutan, South India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and SE Asia, up to Japan, Taiwan and Australia, in broadleaf, evergreen, humid, primary forests at elevations of 100 to 2000 m.

Identification credit: Ravee Bhat Photographed in Talakaveri Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka.

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