Indian Winged-Horn Orchid
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Indian Winged-Horn Orchid
P Native Photo: P.S. Sivaprasad
Common name: Indian Winged-Horn Orchid
Botanical name: Pteroceras indicum    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)

Indian Winged-Horn Orchid is an orchid found growing on trees. The name winged-horn comes from the two narrow, wing-like appendages at the base of the lip (horn). Flowers are borne in 2-6 unbranched racemes, from base of leaves, penetrating the sheaths, much shorter than the leaves, 2.5-3.6 cm long. Flower-cluster-stalks are green, densly covered with purple, or rarely green, hairs or prickles. Flowers are 2-6, shortly stalked, remaining open for two days only, spirally alternating. Sepals and petals are free, spreading, white with purple tinge towards the base. Median sepal is elliptic, concave, 1.2-1.3 x 0.6 cm, 5-nerved, pale greenish-white, purple tinged in lower half. Lateral sepals are elliptic-bolong, 1-1.2 x 0.6 cm, whitish, purple tinged at base. Petals are elliptic or oblong-ovate, 1-1.3 x 0.6 cm, 5-nerved, white, purple tinged at base, hairless, flat or blunt at tip. Lip is 7 mm long, side lobes nearly rectangular-oblong, curved. Mid-lobe is small, with a projecting spur. Column is 4 x 2 mm. Many roots arise from the stem base. Stem is short 1-1.8 cm long, covered entired with overlapping leaf sheaths. Leaves are 4-6, stalkless, jointed, spreading, leathery, linear of oblong-lanceshaped, 5-13 x 1-2.5 cm. Leaves are unequally bilobed at tip. Capsules are 6-ribbed, ellipsoid or spindle-shaped, 3.5 x 1 cm, prickly. Indian Winged-Horn Orchid is found in dense evergreen forests in the Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. Flowering: May-September.

Identification credit: Pankaj Kumar Photographed in Topslip, Anamalais, Tamil Nadu.

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