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Nepal Satyrium   
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Nepal Satyrium
ative Photo: Pankaj Kumar
Common name: Nepal Satyrium
Botanical name: Satyrium nepalense    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Satyrium nepalense var. nepalense, Satyrium henryi, Satyrium pallidum

Nepal Satyrium is a rare medicinal Orchid found in the hills of India, abounding in the Himalayas from Simla eastward; also found in the Khasia Mountains, in those of the Deccan Peninsula around Travancore, and in Ceylon. It is found at varied elevations, 1300-400 m. Plant High 30-45 cm, with tubers; Tuber oval and round long, 2-3 x 1-1.5 cm. Leaves oval, oval-lanceolate, 7-10 cm long and 3.5-5.5 cm wide, gradually becoming smaller upwards. Small pinkish white flowers occur on an upright spike. There are reddish lance-like bracts. The flowers have an interesting shape. The lip is hood-like and has a terminal tip called 'flap'. It has two spurs, one on each side of the ovary. The indigenous people of the upper Nilgiris — the Todas, call it Ezhtkwehhdr — which literally means "bullock's horns". This name refers to the bullock horn-like resemblance provided by the twin spurs of these flowers. Flowering: July-December.
Medicinal uses: The Todas of Nilgiris, consume the dried and powdered tubers of the terrestrial orchid Satyrium nepalense as an energizing tonic.

Identification credit: Pankaj Kumar
Photographed in Dhanaulti, Uttar Pradesh & Shola forests, Tamil Nadu.
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