Fragrant Coelogyne
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Fragrant Coelogyne
P Native Photo: S. Jeevith
Common name: Fragrant Coelogyne
Botanical name: Coelogyne odoratissima    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Coelogyne angustifolia, Coelogyne trifida, Pleione odoratissima

Fragrant Coelogyne is a small sized, cool to cold growing orchid growing on trees. It has clustered, ovoid to almost round pseudobulbs enveloped basally by basal sheaths. The plant carries 2 apical, membraneous, shape variable, elliptic-lanceshaped, pleated, pointed basal leaves which are 5 nerved, gradually narrowing below into the stalk. The plant blooms on a synanthous, slender, basal, erect, 5-10 cm long, simultaneously 2-5 flowered inflorescence with persistent floral bracts and carrying waxy, fragrant flowers. Flowers are 3.5 cm across, very fragrant, white. Dorsal sepal 2.3 x 0.95-1.05 cm, oblong-lanceshaped, lateral sepals oblong-lanceshaped or oblong-ovate, 2.3 x 0.75 cm, 5-veined. Petals are linear, 2.2 cm x 2.6 mm, pointed, 3-veined. Lip 2.2 x 1.4 cm, 3-lobed, 9-veined; lateral lobes oblong, blunt, erect; midlobe round, apiculate, with three crisped ridges along the midline. Column is 1.4 cm high, 3 mm broad, winged, bending over at the tip, mentum inprominent. Ovary with flower-stalk 9 mm long. Fruit is a capsule, 1.5-2.7 x 1-1.4 cm, ellipsoid, 6-ribbed, drooping at the ends of thick, elongated flower-cluster-stalks. Fragrant Coelogyne is found in southern India and Sri Lanka in subtropical lower and upper montane forests at elevations of 1000-2700 m.

Identification credit: S. Jeevith Photographed in Ooty, the Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu.

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