Pseudobulb is an essential part of all sympodial orchids (a few exceptions are there with no pseudobulb). Leaf/leaves arise from the apex of the pseudobulbs; while inflorescence arises either from the apex or the base/side; bulb also store water to help the survival of the plant.
Pseudobulbs are of various shapes and sizes, from minute to stemlike. Its surface is also varying, from smooth to wrinkled or grooved.
The shape, size and surface of the pseudobulbs often help in identifying the species while not in flowers or leaf/leaves.
In a few orchid species, the peduncle and rachis get elongated after anthesis (flowering), while the fruits are developing. In many cases the combined length of the peduncle and rachis can achieve almost 4-5 times its length than while in flower.
Also, these species are conspicuous with their long maturing time of seeds, many take almost a year or so.
In an orchid flower, spur (if present) arises from the base of the lip and considered as an extension of the latter. Spurs can be very minute to shorter or longer than the length of the lip. However, in general, irrespective of its shape and size, lips are pendulous (pointing downwards), but in rare cases they are arranged backward pointing also.
However, as an extreme rarity some species have unusually large horn-shaped forward bending spurs.
The beauty of the Himalaya is that, along with seasons its topography changes, from multi shaded slopes to a thick blanket of pure white snow. In my initial years of work in the alpine zone, I was mesmerised to feel the drastic change – floral beds from where I documented hundreds of species disappearing under many feet of snow, then again springing back with more vigour as the sun moves to the northern hemisphere.
Petiole is the stalk that attaches the leaf blade to the cane, stem or bulb. In many orchid species, the base of the petiole is broad and wholly or partially surrounds the stem. This type of petiole is often referred to as clasping.
This characteristic is found in both epiphytic as well as terrestrial orchids.
In many plants, margins of leaves, petals and sepals are wavy in characteristics. This type of wavy margin is termed undulate.
In the family of Orchidaceae also, undulating leaves, petals and sepals are not an uncommon characteristic, but certainly not with the lip. Only a few orchid species have their lip margin undulate. Genus Phaius is an example with a few species possessing undulate lip margin.
Tea pruning is the process of removing plant parts like leaves, branches, roots or buds. Pruning of tea plants improves the overall health of plants. The process also helps prevent insects and decay causing organisms to enter the plant, remove unwanted branches, shape and control the growth to provide sufficient sunlight and air to all new leaves resulting in the overall yield and quality of the next crop.
Pruning helps the plants channelize energy for the production of new leaves in large numbers, which is the most important commercial part of a tea plant. More importantly, it helps in maintaining the height of plants to help in easy harvest of its leaves.
In north east India, December and January are the months when the otherwise green estates turn brown.
In a few orchid genera, plants produce plantlets asexually. They arise from the nodes and base of the canes and flowering stems. These little new plants are called keikis. This happens because of the accumulation of growth hormones at those points. The word Keiki is Hawaiian, meaning “little one”.
Genera like Dendorbium and Phalaenopsis are famous for producing Keikis.