White Crane Orchid
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White Crane Orchid
P Native Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: White Crane Orchid, Christmas Orchid, Thrice Folded Calanthe
Botanical name: Calanthe triplicata    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)
Synonyms: Calanthe anchorifera, Calanthe breviflos, Calanthe petri

White Crane Orchid is an attractive evergreen, large orchid. Nodding, spurred, large, white flowers are borne on long, erect racemes. The flowers look like flying white cranes, hence the common name. Flowers can also be pink in color. The racemes carry cluster of 18-40 flowers which are about 5 cm across with yellow or orange calli. Petals and sepals are narrow and nearly equal in size, while the lip is several lobed, marked by a yellow or reddish vertical, linear wart-like callus. The characteristic features of Calanthe is the union of the column with the lip. The flowers last 3-4 weeks, opening successively. Leaves are deep green, strongly ribbed and grow up to 50 cm long and 15 cm wide. The plant has 4-10 leaves per shoot arising from a fleshy conical pseudobulb. It retains its leaves for several years. The fruit is a capsule 3-4 cm long. White Crane Orchid is found in Indo-China, including Western Ghats and NE India, at altitudes of 700-2400 m.

Identification credit: Pankaj Kumar, P.S. Sivaprasad Photographed in Manipur & The Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu.

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