Fragrant Calanthe
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Fragrant Calanthe
ative Photo: Thingnam Rajshree
Common name: Fragrant Calanthe
Botanical name: Calanthe odora    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Calanthe angusta, Alismorchis odora

Fragrant Calanthe is a terrestrial orchid 25-50 cm tall. Pseudobulbs are subconic, about 5 mm in diameter, with 2 or 3 sheaths. Leaves are 2 or 3, not well developed at flowering time, not deciduous. Blade is elliptic or elliptic-lanceolate, 12-14 x 3-4 cm, tip long-pointed, stalk-like base short, often forming a pseudostem about 5 cm. Flower stem arising from previous year’s leafless pseudobulb, erect, rachis 2-5 cm, densely few to many flowered. Floral bracts are persistent, ovate-lanceshaped, about 8 mm. Flowers are white, stalk and ovary 1.0-1.4 cm long. Sepals are similar, ovate-elliptic, 9-11 x 4-5 mm, 5-veined, tip pointed. Petals are somewhat spoon-shaped, 9-11 x 3-5 mm, 3-veined, tip flat and slightly mucronate. Lip is adnate to entire length of column wings, 8-10 x 6-8 mm, deeply 3-lobed; lateral lobes are suboblong or obliquely ovate; mid-lobe somewhat kidney-shaped, divided by a deep triangular sinus into 2 lobules, apiculate in sinus; lobules divergent, subobovate; disk with a semicircular cluster of many tuberous, wartlike calli at base. Spur is straight, cylindric, 7-8 mm. Column is about 3 mm, dilated toward apex; rostellum 2-lobed, lobes about 1.2 mm. Fragrant Calanthe is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, NE India, Laos, N Thailand, Vietnam, at altitudes of 700-1300 m. Flowering: May-July.

Identification credit: Pankaj Kumar
Photographed in Imphal, Manipur.
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