Habenaria ensifolia Lindl. 1835

SECTION Habenariae Photo by Pankaj Kumar

Part Shade Cool Cold Summer

Common Name The Sword Shaped Leaf Habenaria

Flower Size 1.24 to 1.28" [3.1 to 3.8 cm]

Found in the western Himalayas, Sikkim and the Khasia hills of India at elevations of 1500 to 2200 meters as a large sized, cool to cold growing terrestrial with elongate tubers giving rise to an erect, robust leafy stem with the lower portion with several long, acute, tubular sheaths the upper portion with oblong to linear-lanceolate, acuminate, amplexicaul basally, strongly 3 nerved, becoming smaller towards the apex leaves that blooms in the summer on an erect, 4 to 8" [10 to 20 cm] long, several flowered inflorescence with leaflike, linear-lanceolate, acminate, much longer than the rather slender ovary floral bracts.

Duthie stated that this orchid although similar to H pectinata is a much more robust and taller plant as well as much more common.

This species is within a group of similar orchids consisiting of H intermedia, H davidii, H arietina, H limprichtii, H triquetra, H yueana, H mairei and H pectinata which all have trilobed lips with the two lateral sides with fringe.

Synonyms Habenaria pectinata subsp ensifolia Soo' 1929; Ochyrorchis ensifolia (Lindl.) Szlach. 2004;

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; The Orchids of Northwestern Himalaya Duthie 1906; Dansk Botanisk Arkiv Orchid Genera in Thailand V Orchioideae Seidenfaden 1977; Orchids of North West Himalaya Deva & Naithani 1986 drawing fide; Orchids of Kumaun Himalayas Pangtey, Samant and Rawat 1991; Beautiful Orchids of Nepal Rajbhandari & Bhattarai 2001 photo fide;

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