Pantling's Jewel Orchid
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Pantling's Jewel Orchid
ative Photo: Avishek Bhattacharjee
Common name: Pantling's Jewel Orchid
Botanical name: Zeuxine pantlingii    Family: Orchidaceae (Orchid family)

Pantling's Jewel Orchid is a new orchid species identified as recently as 2006. The name is in honour of Robert Pantling (1856–1910), a British botanist known for his masterly drawings and colour paintings of Indian orchids. Pantling's Jewel Orchid is a terrestrial herb, 14.5–24 cm tall. Rhizomes are creeping, hardly distinguishable from the aerial stem, rooting at nodes, 3–5 cm long. Aerial stem is erect, purple-green, 3–6 cm long. Leaves are 4–6 in number, with pink-white stalks, 7–10 mm long. Leaf blade is obliquely ovate-lance-shaped, entire, narrow tipped, glossy, with dark velvety-green upper surface and purple-green lower surface, 1.2–3.6 cm long, 7–15 mm wide. Inflorescence is a 2–3 flowered very lax spike at the end of stem. Flowers are 1.2–1.6 cm long, pink-white, appearing to be inverted. not fully opening. Pantling's Jewel Orchid is closely allied to Zeuxine goodyeroides, but can be distinguished by several characters. Pantling's Jewel Orchid is found in West Bengal, Darjeeling District, near Mongpoo, at altitudes of about 900 m. Flowering: August–September.

Identification credit: Avishek Bhattacharjee
Photographed at Mongpoo, Darjeeling, West Bengal.
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