Two-Lobed Calanthe
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Two-Lobed Calanthe
P Native Photo: Sanjyoti Subba
Common name: Two-Lobed Calanthe
Botanical name: Calanthe biloba    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Alismorkis biloba, Calanthe biloba var. diptera, Calanthe biloba var. obtusata

Two-Lobed Calanthe is a medium to large sized, cool to cold growing terrestrial orchid. It has clustered, stout, elongate, cylindric pseudobulbs carrying 4-6, unequal, broadly lanceshaped to ovate, pointed leaves. Leaves gradually narrow below into the stalked base. The plant blooms on a up to 8-flowers inflorescence in leaf-axils from the lowest leaf. Flower-cluster-stalk is up to 34 cm long, velvet-hairy, with 2-3 clasping, lanceshaped, tapering, sterile sheathing bracts, axis up to 16 cm long, 36-50 cm long. There are linear-lanceshaped, tapering, persistent floral bracts. Flowers are large, purplish with a yellowish lip; flower-stalk and ovary 2.0-2.5 cm, densely finely velvet-hairy. Dorsal sepal broadly ovate, about 15 x 6-7 mm, 5-veined, tip aristate; lateral sepals ovate, oblique, about 15 x 7-8 mm, below densely finely velvet-hairy, 5-veined, tip aristate. Petals are oblong, about 15 x 4.5 mm, hairless, 3-veined, tip aristate; lip adnate to base of column wings, somewhat kidney-shaped, about 15 x 20 mm, clawed, deeply 2-lobed, apiculate in sinus; lobes nearly rhombic, margin erose, tip blunt. Two-Lobed Calanthe is found in Eastern Himalayas, Bhutan, NE India, Myanmar, Nepal and Yunnan, at altitudes of about 1800 m. Flowering: October-November.

Identification credit: Sanjyoti Subba Photographed in Soreng Reserve Forest, Sikkim.

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