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CHRISTMAS ORCHID (Calanthe triplicata)
Biodiversity > Plants > Orchids

Christmas orchid

Calanthe triplicata   Family ORCHIDACEAE

A tall terrestrial orchid, having a flower stem to 1m high, with numerous white flowers on top. Rare on Lord Howe Island; Erskine Valley, Mt Gower, Dinner Run. From a genus of about 200 species, widely distributed but mostly in the Old World tropics and Madagascar; one species each in South Africa, South America and in the West Indies. This species widely distributed from India and China to Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea, and eastern Australia.

Leaves persistent, 4 to 10 arising on a fleshy conical pseudobulb; prominently stalked, broadly elliptic, 20-50cm X 4-8cm, thin textured, pleated, ends raggy. Flowers (Nov-Mar) white, 30mm across; numerous, crowded on top of the tall green fleshy stem which elongates as the flowers develop. Fruit a capsule 3-4cm long.

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