Sword-Leaf Calanthe
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Sword-Leaf Calanthe
P Native Photo: Ashutosh Sharma
Common name: Sword-Leaf Calanthe
Botanical name: Calanthe davidii    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Calanthe ensifolia, Calanthe bungoana, Calanthe pachystalix

Sword-Leaf Calanthe is a rare terrestrial orchid, generally growing in clusters, 35-90 cm tall. Leaves are 3-6, sword-shaped, 20-75 cm long, up to 5cm wide, pointed, hairless, pleated, 3-nerved. Inflorescence is erect, flowering stem up to 140 cm long, 10-35 cm long, about 30 to 55 flowered, floral bracts 1.0-1.5 cm long. Flowers are pale yellow to green, 1.4-1.8 x 1.0-1.3 cm, spurred. Sepals are similar, somewhat elliptic, reflexed, 6-8 mm long and 4-5 mm wide, pointed. Petals are inverted-lanceshaped, reflexed, 6-8 mm long and 2.0–2.5 mm wide, blunt, 3-veined hairless, with clawed base. Lip is adnate to entire length of column wings, broadly triangular, 0.7-1.0 cm long and 0.6-0.9 cm wide, 3-lobed. Lateral lobes are oblong to ovate-triangular, 4-5 mm long, blunt, mid lobe divided into 2 lobules by a deep sinus. Column is about 4.0 mm long and about 4.5 mm wide. Capsules are ovoid, 1.3-1.8 cm long and 6-9 mm wide. Sword-Leaf Calanthe is distributed across the Himalaya to China, Indochina, Taiwan, and Japan. It is found at altitudes of 500-3300 m. Flowering: July-August.

Identification credit: Pankaj Kumar, Ashutosh Sharma, Nidhan Singh Photographed in Parvati Valley, Kullu district, Himachal Pradesh.

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