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ative Photo: Pankaj Kumar
Common name: Jeevak • Hindi: जीवक Jivak • Tamil: ஜீவகம் Jivakam • Malayalam: ജീവകമ് Jivakam • Telugu: జీవకము Jivakamu • Kannada: ಜೀವಕ Jivaka • Sanskrit: जीवक Jivakah
Botanical name: Crepidium acuminatum    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Microstylis wallichii, Malaxis acuminata

Found in India, China, and South-East Asia, at elevations up to to 1400 m, Jeevak is a small to medium sized, hot to warm growing terrestrial or lithophytic orchid. It occurs on highly eroded, stratified limestone cliffs and bluffs with horizontal rhizomes giving rise to rather thin, short stems, each bearing 3-5 , broadly lance-like, acuminate and acute, leaves. The plant blooms in summer on an erect, 4-12 inches long, several to many flowered inflorescence with lanceolate acute floral bracts. Flowers minute, pale-yellowish green, tinged with purple, in terminal racemes. Sides of the lip produced upwards into auricles, apex notched.
Medicinal uses: The pseudobulbs are sweet, refrigerant, aphrodisiac, febrifuge and tonic. They are useful in haematemesis, fever, seminal weakness, burning sensations, dipsia, emaciation, tuberculosis and general debility.

Identification credit: Jagdeep Verma, Prince Thakur, K. Karthigeyan Photographed in Dhanaulti, Uttarakhand & Pelling, Sikkim.

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