Tropical Eulophia
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Tropical Eulophia
P Native Unknown Photo: Mahesh Raja
Common name: Tropical Eulophia
Botanical name: Eulophia zollingeri    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Eulophia formosana, Eulophia sanguinea, Cyrtopera zollingeri

Tropical Eulophia is a large to giant sized, warm to cool growing, terrestrial orchid with large and round to elongate, horizontal and thinner, underground pseudobulbs. The plant lives in close association with fungi. The pseudobub gives rise to an erect, elongate stem carrying three overlapping, basal sheaths and 2 to 3 more higher up, and no real leaves. The plant blooms in the late spring and early summer on a 10-20 cm long, 15-20 flowered rachis with subulate floral bracts and pungently fragrant flowers. Flowers are nearly erect, spreading, or nodding, dull purple-red to brownish yellow, medium-sized, 2.5-3.0 cm in diameter; flower-stalk and ovary 1.6-2.0 cm. Dorsal sepal is elliptic-oblong, 15-23 x 4-7 mm, tip tapering; lateral sepals oblong. Petals are inverted-lanceshaped, 11-18 x 5-7 mm, lip adnate to column foot, obovate or oblong-obovate, 1.4-1.5 x 1.5-1.8 cm, 3-lobed. Column is about 5 mm; column foot 4-5 mm. Tropical Eulophia is native to Tropical & Subtropical Asia to Queensland. Flowering: April-May.

Identification credit: Mahesh Raja Photographed in Devala, Nilgiris, Tamilnadu.

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