Dominy's Calanthe
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Dominy's Calanthe
P Native Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Dominy's Calanthe
Botanical name: Calanthe x dominyi    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)

Dominy's Calanthe (Calanthe x dominyi) is a natural hybrid formed between Calanthe masuca and Calanthe triplicata. It is a robust, clustered terrestrial orchid up to 3 ft tall. Flowers are borne in 45-85 cm long, cylindrical raceme of 28-40 flowers. Floral bracts are prominent, persistent, ovate, 2-3 cm long, 1-1.5 cm wide, tapering, light green. Flowers open widely, about 4 cm across, flushed mauve, with a prominent orange and red callus on the lip; flower-stalk and ovary spreading, slender, 3.5-4 cm long, white flushed green; dorsal sepal ovate, 1.6-1.8 cm long, 7-8 mm wide, tip pointed; lateral sepals elliptic-obovate, oblique, 1.8-2.0 cm long, 5.5-7.5 mm wide, tip tapering-apiculate. Petals are obovate, 1.6-1.8 mm long, 7-8 mm wide, tip rounded-apiculate; lip obovate-flabellate, 3-lobed, 1.7-1.9 cm long, 1.6-2.0 cm wide, with an rising up spur 3-3.5 cm long at base; side lobes placed a short away above the base, oblong, slightly oblique, 6-8 mm long, about 2.5 mm wide, tip rounded; mid-lobe deeply divided into 2 diverging, flabellate-flat lobules, each 7-8 mm long and 6-8 mm wide; disc bearing a callus of 3 tubercular ridges in between the side lobes; column stout, 5-6 mm long, thickened at tip; anther ovoid; pollinia 8 in 2 groups of 4, club-shaped. Pseudobulbs are tightly clustered along stout rhizome, conical, 2-4 cm tall, enclosed in overlapping leaf bases, each bearing 2-7 leaves. Leaves are basal, clustered, elliptic, 24-47 cm long, 5-12 cm wide, pointed, pleated, papery, dark green to greyish-green, hairless above, tapering into a grooved stalk up to 9 cm long at base. Capsule ellipsoid, 3–4 cm long. Dominy's Calanthe is found in SE Asia, growing in deep shade on moist slopes in evergreen hill and mountain forests at 400-800 m elevation. Flowering: July-August.

Identification credit: Pankaj Kumar Photographed in Shola forest near Munnar, Kerala.

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