Three Flowered Egret Orchid
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Three Flowered Egret Orchid
ative Photo: Pankaj Kumar
Common name: Three Flowered Egret Orchid
Botanical name: Pecteilis triflora    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Habenaria triflora, Habenaria uniflora, Pecteilis candida

Three Flowered Egret Orchid is a terrestrial orchid, up to 2 ft tall. Stem is stout, round, sheathed with leaf bases. Leaves are 4-6, 2.5-7.5 cm long, ovate-lanceshaped, pointed, upper leaves narrower and tapering, middle ones largest, margin pale green or white. Flowers are large, white, scentless, shortly stalked, borne in groups of 1-3 at branch-ends. Bracts are leafy, slightly longer than ovary, raised blade like ridge on the dorsal side along the mid vein, tapering. Sepals are white, nearly bequal; dorsal sepal almost round, 5-veined, for about 4 mm attached to the column; lateral sepals oblong-ovate, base oblique, about 9.5 mm attached to the column; sepal tips folded slightly backwards. Petals are small, linear, broader at the base, 1-nerved, curved upwards. Lip is flabelliform, about 3.2 cm long, 3-partite about the middle; lateral lobes hatchet-shaped, about 3.4 x 2.1 cm, slightly toothed, base with two triangular calli, mid-lobe shorter than the lateral lobes, pointed, linear-lanceshaped, raised upwards along the length of the lip. Spur is longer than the ovary, about 40 mm long, slender, straight, broader towards the later half of the length but flattened and pointed near the tip, opening of spur funnel-shaped. Column is broad, about 1.1 x 0.8 cm, more or less square, ends of stigmatic lobes convex. Ovary is about 2.8 cm long, ribbed; stalk about 2 mm long. Three Flowered Egret Orchid is found in the Himalayas, from Kumaon to Nepal, at altitudes of 400-1200 m. Flowering: August-September.

Identification credit: Pankaj Kumar Photographed in Singhbhum, Jharkhand.

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