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Friday, January 16, 2015

Pink Tulip Orchid

At first glance, it would be possible to mistake this beautiful plant for Anguloa uniflora, another pink tulip orchid species. But Anguloa virginalis is recognizable by its laterally flattened flowers with pointed petals and sepals.

Front view, showing how narrow the flower of Avirginalis is compared with  A. uniflora. Orchid flowers have bilateral symmetry. But like virtually all organisms, this individual defies any expectation of symmetrical perfection. The column is turned slightly left of center, reflecting a twist in the ovary and scape. The two lower sepals meet unevenly. One sepal points slightly leftward. I like these fascinating  irregularities.

From the side, you can see the distinctive kink near the base of the tubular lip -a feature that is diagnostic for virginalis.

Ventral view of the lip. From this angle, you can see that the kink in the lip is actually a depression in the ventral surface.

Dorsal view of the lip.

Anguloa virginalis is native to Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, where it grows as a terrestrial or lithophyte at around 2000 meters elevation in bright light. Henry Oakeley reports its habitat as full sun or light woodland and forest margins. Our plants like the cool temperatures (52┬║ night minimum) of our Tropical High Elevation House where they are planted in the ground in a mixture of fine fir bark, charcoal and permatill.

1 comment:

  1. Another favorite, and I love your photos. Does the ABG ever teach a photography 101 class?


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