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Slender Yellow Ginger
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Slender Yellow Ginger
P Native Photo: Ashutosh Sharma
Common name: Slender Yellow Ginger, Slender Shade Ginger
Botanical name: Cautleya gracilis var. gracilis (Sm.) Dandy    Family: Zingiberaceae (Ginger family)
Synonyms: Cautleya cathcartii, Cautleya lutea var. robusta

Slender Yellow Ginger is a small ginger with leafy shoots 20-57 cm tall; internodes 3-6 cm long; 4-9-leaved. Leaves are 7-26 cm long, stalkless; ligule 0.3-0.5 cm long, bilobed, pale green or red, hairless; blade oblong-lanceshaped, 7-26 x 2.0-4.4 cm, green and hairless on the upper surface, light green or purple and hairless on the lower surface. Flowers are borne at branch-ends, in lax, 4.5-14.0 cm long, protruding, 1-5-flowered spike, axis 4.0-11.8 cm long. Bracts are 1-5 per spike, arranged 1-4 cm apart, 1.0-1.9 x 0.2-0.3 cm, green or red. Flowers are 3.8-5.0 cm long, one or two flowers per spike open a day. Sepal-cup is 1.4-1.6 x 0.3-0.4 cm, red or green with red tinge, hairless, clefted on one side about 0.4 cm deep. Flower tube is 1.6-2.4 cm long, longer than the bract and sepal-cup; dorsal lobe 1.7-2.2 x about 0.2 cm; lateral lobes 1.8-2.1 x 0.4-0.6 cm. Lip is 2.4-2.5 x 1.4-2.0 cm, lobes overlapping, blunt to pointed. Lateral staminodes obovate with a lateral process of about 0.2 cm, 1.7-2.5 x 0.6-0.8 cm, yellow, sometimes with a red streak at the base along the median. Stamens 1.1−1.4 cm long; style 4.0-4.2 cm long. Fruit capsule is spherical, 0.7-1.3 cm long hairless. Slender Yellow Ginger is found in Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim, West Bengal, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, Bhutan, China, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand and Vietnam. Flowering: May-November.

Identification credit: Ashutosh Sharma Photographed in Khokhan WLS, Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh.

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