Large Velvet Orchid
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Large Velvet Orchid
P Native Photo: M. Sawmliana
Common name: Large Velvet Orchid
Botanical name: Cheirostylis griffithii    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Cheirostylis macrantha

Large Velvet Orchid is a small sized terrestrial orchid with a prostrate base carrying 3-4, drooping, elliptic-ovate, blunt leaves. The plant blooms in the winter and spring on an erect, flower-cluster-stalk 7-12.5 cm long, 1 to 3 flowered inflorescence with lanceshaped, tapering, shorter than to as long as the ovary floral bracts and carrying flowers that are velvet-hairy on the back. Flowers are whitish, rather large; ovary 1.1-1.3 cm including flower-stalk, velvet-hairy. Sepals aew 1.3-1.5 cm, basal half fused and forming a tube, outer surface sparsely velvet-hairy; free apical lobes pointed, spreading. Petals are narrowly oblong, oblique, curved, 13-15 x 2-2.5 mm, tip blunt. Lip is 1.5-1.7 cm, 3-partite; hypochile slightly saccate, about 2 mm, containing 2 comblike calli, each callus 8- or 9-toothed; mesochile 5-7 mm; epichile round, 5-6 x 6-7 mm, base with 2 green spots, 2-lobed; lobes deeply laciniate with 8-10 divisions, each division 1-3.5 mm. Column is 2.5-3 mm; stelidia straight, linear, about 3 mm, about as long as rostellum arms. Large Velvet Orchid is found in the Himalayas to China and Indo-China, at altitudes of 2200-2300 m. Flowering: September.

Identification credit: Saroj Kasaju Photographed in Hmuifang, Mizoram.

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