Slender Shade Ginger
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Slender Shade Ginger
ative Photo: Tabish
Common name: Slender Shade Ginger
Botanical name: Cautleya gracilis    Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)
Synonyms: Roscoea gracilis, Cautleya lutea

Slender Shade Ginger is a perennial herb with pseudostems 25-80 cm, slender. Leaves are 4-6, stalkless, leaf sheath greenish white or with purple-red spot, ligule about 2 mm, membranous, tip rounded. Leaves are green above, usually purple or green below, lanceshaped or oblong-lanceshaped, 6-18 × 1.5-6 cm, hairless, base rounded or flat, tip with tapring tip which falls off. Flowers are borne in slender, laxly 2-10-flowered spikes. Rachis is red, slightly flexuous; bracts green, lanceolate, shorter than calyx. Sepal cup is purple-red, 1.5-2 cm, deeply split on 1 side, tip minutely toothed. Flower tube is slightly exserted from sepal cup, petals bright yellow, lanceshaped, 1.5-2 cm. Lateral staminodes are erect, petal-like. Lip is obovate, equaling petals, apically 2-cleft to below middle. Filament is curved, about 2 cm. Capsule is red, around, about 8 mm in diameter. Seeds are black, angled; aril absent. Slender Shade Ginger is found in Eastern Himalayas, at altitudes of 900-3100 m. Flowering: July-September.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Darjeeling.

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