Short Spurred Calanthe
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Short Spurred Calanthe
P Native Photo: Siddarth Machado
Common name: Short Spurred Calanthe
Botanical name: Calanthe brevicornu    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Calanthe scaposa, Calanthe yunnanensis, Calanthe lamellosa

Short Spurred Calanthe is a medium sized, cool to cold growing ground orchid with small ovoid, pointed pseudobulbs. The plant has 3 to 4, ovate-elliptic, pointed to tapering leaves, older ones gradually narrowing into the stalked base. The plant blooms in the spring and early summer on an erect, finely velvet-hairy, 30 cm long, laxly 15 to 20 flowered inflorescence at the top. Leaf-stalk-like base sheathing, 3-10 cm, usually forming a stout pseudostem 5-8 cm long and 1-2 cm in diam. Flowering stem arising from leaf axil, 25-40 cm, densely finely velvet-hairy; axis up to 30 cm. Flowers are yellowish green, with pinkish red striations, coconut scented. Flower-stalk and ovary are 16-23 mm, finely velvet-hairy. Sepals are similar, oblong, 12-23 x 4-6 mm, below finely velvet-hairy, 5-veined, tip pointed. Petals are oblong-lanceshaped, 11-20 x 4-5 mm, hairless, 3-veined, tip pointed; lip adnate to base of column wings, 11-20 × 6-10 mm, base shortly clawed, 3-lobed; lateral lobes sickle shaped-oblong, about 15 x 12.5 mm, tip obliquely flat; mid-lobe nearly kidney-shaped or round, about 6 × 8 mm, base clawed, tip usually notched and mucronate in sinus; disk pinkish red, with 3 tall yellow lamellae; spur very short, about 2 mm, outside finely velvet-hairy, narrowed toward tip. Short Spurred Calanthe is found in Eastern Himalayas, from C Nepal to Sikkim and Myanmar in dense forests at elevations of 1660-3100 m. Flowering: May-June.

Identification credit: Siddarth Machado Photographed in Fambong Lho Wildlife Sanctuary, Sikkim.

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