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.
Many orchid flowers are with ridges on its lip, known as lamella. It can be a single one or upto 5 in numbers. Lamellae can be of the same length, shorter or longer, wavy etc. However, most of them are entire in structure, meaning without any hairy outgrowths. However, there are certain orchid flowers that have multiple lamellae that are hairy (fimbriate).
It is believed that this highly developed mechanism has something to do with pollination of the flowers.
In extremely rare cases, orchid plants produce flowers with all 3 petals of same size, shape and colour, instead of turning one into the otherwise modified form – the lip. These types of flowers are termed peloric.
Pelorism, the term for the formation of flowers that varies from its normal structure, was first described by Charles Darwin.