Yunnan Velvet Orchid
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Yunnan Velvet Orchid
P Native Photo: Jambey Tsering
Common name: Yunnan Velvet Orchid
Botanical name: Cheirostylis yunnanensis    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Cheirostylis josephi, Cheirostylis pabongensis, Cheirostylis munnacampensis

Yunnan Velvet Orchid is a mini-miniature to miniature sized, terrestrial orchid with a prostrate, pale green pseudobulb carrying 2 to 5, ovate to shortly tapering, 5 veined, stalked base leaves. The plant blooms in the spring on an erect, 8-16 cm long, 2 to 4 flowered inflorescence with ovate-lanceshaped, floral bracts. Flowers are often erect; sepals 5-6.5 mm, basal 1/2 fused and forming a tube, membranous, 1-veined; free apical lobes triangular-ovate, 2.5-3 mm. Petals are appressed to dorsal sepal, white, narrowly inverted-lanceshaped-oblong, oblique, 5-6.5 x 1.5-1.8 mm, membranous, 1-veined. Lip is erect, white, 9-12 mm, 3-partite; hypochile saccate, containing 2 comblike calli, each callus 3- or 4-toothed; mesochile about 2 mm, narrow, with 2 lamellae; epichile with green spots at base, flabellate, 5-6 mm, deeply 2-lobed; lobes 4-6 mm wide, margin irregularly 5-7-toothed, teeth triangular with pointed tips. Column about 2.5 mm. Yunnan Velvet Orchid is found in East Himalaya to S. China and SE Asia. Flowering: March-April.

Identification credit: Jambey Tsering Photographed in Rupa, West Kameng, Arunachal Pradesh.

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