Didymoplexis - Griffith
An Old World genus of about 10 species of delicate saprophytic orchids with tuberoid rhizome and a slender stem terminating in a raceme of white to straw coloured flowers . Three species are available in India, of which two occur in Kerala including a novelty described below.
1. Didymoplexis pallens Griff., Calc. J. Nat. hist. 4: 383 .t. 12 . 1844 ; J.D. Hook . 1890 : 162 ; Fischer in Gamble 1928 : 1459 ; Santapau & Kapadia 1978 : 177; Seidenfaden 1978:177.
Apetalon minutum Wighth , Ic. Pl. Ind. Or. 5(1) : 22. t. 1758 . 1851.
Cheirostylis canarensis Blatt & Mc. Cann, J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 35: 732.f. 4. 1932.
This species was originally described from Indian Botanic Garden , Howrah.
Occurrence : Trivandrum and Wayanad districts.
2. Didymoplexis seidenfadenii Sathish & Ormerod,sp. nov.
Affinis Didymoplexis pallens Griff .sed different a sepala dorsalis ovate-obtusa , petala binervis et ovate-obtusa , labium trilobatus , calli paribus ad basim , pallide luteus , linearis vel columna -ala quadrata .
Type : Trivandrum District , Kerala , India : Agastyamala 17.03. 1999. P.C. Suresh Kumar 31322 (TBGT, holo &iso). 1050 m.
Small , erect , 8-12 cm tall saprophytes. Tubers oblong , brownish , polished 0.5-2.5 cm long, sometimes curved, spindle shaped, wringed ,often basally tapering into a narrow root-like structure. Roots white, at the apex of the tuberoid, thin and flimsy. Stem 5-7 cm long, erect, terete , glabrous, greyish white and ensheathed , thin and flimsy . Flowers 1-3 , white with light grey on outer side of sepals , on a terminal cyme. Sepals and petals are fused .Dorsal sepal 3.5 x 2.5 mm, ovate obtuse , 3-veined , gland-dotted , fused baslly with the petals. Laterals sepals fused basally nearly to the middle , each lobe 5.5 x 3mm , 3 -veined ,gland dotted and rounded at apex . Petals 5.5 x 4 mm, oblong -ovate 3- veined , gland dotted and obtuse at aped. Lip 5 x 5.5 mm, 3-lobd ;sidelobes larger , each one 5 x 2.5 mm, 3 -veined with branches, gland dotted and rounded at apex; midlobe smaller , rotund at apex, disc thick and fleshy with a pair of yellow linear calli and base .Column erect ,slightly arching at apex, 4 mm long with a distinct foot bearing at its tip a lip; column wings broad quadrate; column foot 1-1.5 mm long.Pollinia 4. Young fruit 2 cm long, oblong.
Our sketch matches with the material of CP 3463 in the Lindley Herbarium from Sri Lanka studied by Ormerod . The sketch by Jayaweera (1981: 385) misidentified as Gastrodia zeylanica, also after this material , belongs here.
Flowering & Fruiting : February -April .
Occurrence: Trivandrum District.
Distribution : South India (Kerala) and Sri Lanka .
Orchid Kerala India - Conceived, Crafted and Cared for by Jithin & Sinu.