Panisea uniflora (Lindl.) Lindl.

Epiphyte. Pseudo-bulbs as long as 2 to 4cm, coespitose, ovoid, mammillate, wrinkled throughout, attached are a few fibrous sheaths at the base. Leaves in pairs, narrowly oblong, acuminate, slightly narrowed at the base, sessile, 4 to 6 cm long and 1 to 1.5 cm in width. Flowers solitary, on a very short peduncle from the base of the pseudo-bulb. Flowers 2 cm across, sepals and petals greenish yellow, lip of the same shade on its apex and gradually progressing to bright yellow on the base side, also with few spots orange spots. Sepals oblong-lanceolate, sub-acute, spreading, five veined. Petals shorter than the sepals, sub-acute, broadly lanceolate, mid veined. Lip oblong, with a very short claw at the base, the side lobes erect and narrow with their acute apices pointing forward.

Coelogyne uniflora, Lindl (Panisea uniflora, (Lindl) Lindl.
Coelogyne uniflora Lindl. (Panisea uniflora (Lindl.) Lindl.

The Pursuit

A rare species of the wild, I had encountered only a few plants in whole of the last 4 years of survey in the region. The find was also accidental. I was surveying the tropical valleys of the region for some other species, and encountered the mammillate (nipple shaped) bulbs of this species, probably the only species of the region with that shape. The drawings of the referral book was not so clear enough to make an understanding of the same. Made some drawings of the bulbs and leaves and some photographs before leaving the area. Verified from various sources and came to the conclusion that it is Coelogyne uniflora Lindl (Panisea uniflora (Lindl) Lindl. Visited the plant again and again to see the appearance of buds. On each visit I and my friend surveyed the whole area in vain to find more specimens of it. By the mid of summer buds came and it started blooming. Working in the tropical valleys and also in the peak of summer is very tiring, not to mention about precise micro photography with 7 to 10 flashes at one go. The flowers are also solitary and on very short peduncle much closer to the pseudo-bulbs. This formation also made the entire documentation very arduous. Scarcity of the species left no options, other than to shoot the one in front of me. Finally after careful observations, selected this particular flower and produced this wonderful photograph. The lip of this flower got some orange spots which were not documented on camera earlier by anyone, even though it was reported on texts as early as 1888. As I know in the coming years I may be not able to find this species, I put extra efforts to document those orange spots on its lip with additional lighting techniques. The whole work took several hours on that day which saw the mercury up by many notches.