South Indian Jewel Orchid
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South Indian Jewel Orchid
ative Photo: Paulmathi Vinod
Common name: South Indian Jewel Orchid • Malayalam: Nagathali
Botanical name: Anoectochilus elatus    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)

South Indian Jewel Orchid is a terrestrial orchid with creeping rhizome. Leaves are up to 5 x 4 cm, ovate or elliptic, acute, dark maroon with golden netted veins. Leaf-stalks are 1.5 cm long. Flowers are white, 2.5 x 1 cm, in about 25 cm long raceme. Dorsal sepal is 1.1 x 0.5 cm, ovate, long-pointed, 1-veined; lateral sepals 1.2 x 0.5 cm, obovate-oblong, somewhat long-pointed, 1-veined. Petals are 1 cm long, 3-4 mm wide, obliquely oblong, long-pointed, 1-veined, fused with dorsal sepal. Lip is 3-lobed, 2 x 2 cm, side lobes 10 x 3 mm, oblong, retuse, curved, mesochile with 5-7 pairs of long fimbriate epichile, bilobed, lobes broad at apex, truncate; spur bilobulate, with spindle-shaped gland. South Indian Jewel Orchid is found in Southern Western Ghats. Flowering: November-December.

Identification credit: Pankaj Kumar
Photographed in Kalakkad, Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, Tamil Nadu.
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