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Susanna's Egret Flower
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Susanna's Egret Flower
P Native Photo: Ajuanbou Pamei
Common name: Susanna's Egret Flower, Susanna's Butterfly Orchid, Lady Susan's Orchid
Botanical name: Pecteilis susannae    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Habenaria susannae, Orchis susannae, Platanthera susannae

Susanna's Egret Flower is a large to giant sized, hot to cold growing terrestrial orchid with large fragrant white flowers. It was named for the wife of Rumphius, 17th century Dutch botanist. The plant gives rise to an erect, thick, leafy stem with basal sheaths and carrying, many, distant, ovate-oblong, pointed, stalkless leaves. The plant blooms in the late spring, summer and fall on a umbel-like, laxly 3 to 5 flowered inflorescence with lanceshaped, pointed to tapering, minutely glandular velvet-hairy floral bracts and carrying nocturnally fragrant flowers. Flowers are large; flower-stalk and ovary 4-6 cm, shallowly winged, hairless. Dorsal sepal erect, broadly ovate to round, 2.5-3 x 2-2.8 cm, tip blunt-rounded; lateral sepals spreading, broadly ovate, slightly oblique, 2.5-4 x 1.2-2.2 cm, usually slightly longer than dorsal sepal, tip blunt. Petals are linear-lanceshaped, 7-12 x about 2.5 mm; lip irregularly ovate, 2.5-4.0 x 2.5-4.4 cm; lateral lobes broad, subflabellate, 1.6-2.2 x 1.8-2.4 cm, lateral margins entire, apical margin lacerate-fringed; mid-lobe linear-oblong, 18-30 x 4-6 mm, slightly fleshy, entire; spur straight to gradually curved forward, 6-13 cm x 3-5 mm, tip pointed. Susanna's Egret Flower is found in East Himalaya, from Nepal to NE India, S China and SE Asia, at altitudes of 500-2500 m. Flowering: July-September.

Identification credit: Pankaj Kumar Photographed in Piulong village, Tamenglong distt., Manipur.

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