Scented Cyrtosia
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Scented Cyrtosia
P Native Unknown Photo: Ashutosh Sharma
Common name: Scented Cyrtosia
Botanical name: Galeola falconeri    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Cyrtosia falconeri

Scented Cyrtosia is a giant sized, warm to cold growing, terrestrial orchid with a woody, round stem enveloped by lanceshaped-triangular sheaths. It is a myco-heterotroph, which means it is part of a symbiotic relationship with certain fungi, in which it gets all or part of its food from parasitism upon the fungi rather than from photosynthesis. The plant blooms with vanilla scented, spongy flowers on a panicled, branched, pendent, laxly few flowered inflorescence. The inflorescence has lanceshaped, pointed, concave floral bracts. Flowers are bright yellow. Sepals are elliptic-oblong, 2.2-3 × 1-1.5 cm, below shortly rusty woolly. Petals are slightly narrower than sepals, hairless; lip broadly ovate or round, about 2 x 1.6-1.8 cm, above densely hairy especially near margin, unlobed, concave, basal part embracing column, near base narrowed and forming a small sac, margin fringed and wavy-toothed. Column is 7-8 mm. Capsule is more than 10 cm. Scented Cyrtosia is found in the Himalayas, Thailand, and Taiwan in dense broad-leaved forests at elevations of 800-2300 m. Flowering: June-July.

Identification credit: Naresh Swami, Ashutosh Sharma Photographed in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh.

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