Peristylus constrictus (Lindl.) Lindl.

The Plant

Terrestrial. Whole plant between 2 to 2.5 ft high, with the lower one third being the stem and the rest the flowering spike. Stem stout with 2 or 3 wide blunt sheaths on its lower portion and 5 to 8 leaves in a whorl around its apex. Leaves ovate-elliptic, upper and lower ones relatively smaller than the others, 4 to 7 cm long and 2 to 2.5 cm in width, acute, long sheathed and clasping, with noticeable veins and broad pale yellow margins. Spike with 2 or 3 lanceolate and acuminate bracts. Tuber oblong, hairy, 2 to 5 cm long and 1 cm in cross section.

The Flower

Flowers many and densely arranged in a spike, each 1.5 to 2 cm across. Sepals sub-equal, lateral three times longer than the dorsal; dorsal broad, lanceolate and arching; lateral pair spreading, oblong, obtuse, with undulate margins and folded inwardly. Petals larger than the dorsal sepal, obliquely ovate, lanceolate, with a winged outward extension on its base, internal edges slightly overlapping. Lip longer than the lateral sepals, three lobed; oblong with blunt apex, side lobes slightly longer than the middle one but narrow, lobes three veined. Spur very small, globular. Bracts erect, lanceolate, acuminate, longer than the ovary.

Sepals pale brownish pink with very minute white margins. Petals pure white. Bracts greenish brown.

Peristylus constrictus, (Lindl.) Lindl.
Peristylus constrictus (Lindl.) Lindl.

The Pursuit

One of the beautiful terrestrial orchids of Sikkim-Himalayas. It was once a common species, presently on the verge of extinction due to habitat loss and over collection from the region. Even though several researchers had documented this species, it took me more than three years to find it from its natural habitat.

I was aware about its blooming cycle from various century old publications. The plant appears along with the early monsoon showers and blooms within a month. I was concentrating for this species on both the banks of river Teesta. During the pursuit of this species I was able to cross over the river Teesta several times at different locations, even during the monsoons. Several of its earlier habitats were destroyed due to construction of dams over the river Teesta.

The day I found this species of the find of this species, I got a good company in the form of a Forest Guard who was earlier posted in that region. He had made many treks inside those forests to trace out poachers; hence he was very familiar about river crossing and the general geography of the region. He guided me very well inside the deep forest and we did a long day of survey finding many species including six young plants of this species. The plants were still so young, my initial calculation was that it would take another 15 to 20 days for them to bloom. The Forest Guard promised that he would try to accompany me in my next trip also.  After two weeks when I contacted him, he was attending an official training program, which would not be over in another 10 days; hence I was left alone with the pursuit. As I was aware about the fact, that when the dams over the river Teesta were fully functional I will never be able to cross to the other side and will hopefully never see this plant again, made me undertake the trip all by myself the very next day. The first part of the journey – crossing the river was done without much difficulty. But, inside the forest I lost the track of those six plants. I attempted different tracks and location, but was unable to locate those plants. Totally disappointed I returned to my camp. On the next day also, I tried without any success. In between I found some other species, but for what I went there remained elusive.

After a week, my good friend called me and said he is back home from training and ready to make a trip. I reached his home the next day as early as I could and immediately left for the search. After around 1 hr and 45 minutes of walk, much before the location of those six plants we sighted earlier, we found two new specimens of the species in full bloom. It was a wonderful sight to see this almost pure white flower in full bloom with the green foliage in background. Interestingly, in my two previous visits I took a break of more than 15 minutes at that same location but had failed to spot them. We decided to skip the other habitat and document the present ones and shot this beautiful photograph of the species.

Now, with the dam fully functional and river water up by more than 30 to 40 ft, the entire region is under water, bringing death to thousands of plant species and the main river of the Sikkim-Himalayas.


Habenaria constricta Wall. ex Hook., Page no 325 – 326 of The Orchids of the Sikkim-Himalayas by Sir. George King and Robert Pantling (1898).

Pinalia pumila (Lindl.) Kuntze.

The Plant

Epiphyte. Whole plant less than 15 cm in height. Erect or pendulous. Rhizome thick, covered with many fibrous sheaths. Pseudo-stems many, arising together from the rhizomes. Stems sub-cylindric or in many cases compressed, 7 to 9 cm long and around 1 to 2 cm thick. Leaves 4 to 6 in numbers arising from the apex of the stem, 5 to 7 cm long and 1 to 2 cm in width, lanceolate, tapering to both sides, with 2 to 3 cm long translucent and veined sheaths.

The Flower

Flowers in dense capitulum, arising in short peduncles from the axils of the leaves. Capitulum 2 to 2.5 cm across with 12 to 26 minute flowers. Sepals oblong to obtuse, erect. Petals much narrower, spreading. Lip oblong, three lobed, disc ridged. Lateral lobes, short, erect. The mid lobe deeply cut into two lobules.

Sepals and petals translucent, pale pink. Lip of a creamy white shade. Column brownish red.

Pinalia pumila, (Lindl.) Kuntze
Pinalia pumila (Lindl.) Kuntze.

The Pursuit

This is a plant never been studied from its natural habitats of Sikkim-Himalayas. With very little information available – including a question mark (?) on its blooming time by the authors, this was one of the most interesting pursuit made by me in the region. The only reference made was that the species is found in the tropical valleys and the blooming season as “August?”.

Between the months of May and October I always concentrated on orchids from the higher altitudes. But, I had always found time to come down to tropical valleys in search of many species and succeeded in finding many in bloom. King and Pantling in many cases mentioned some indications like Teesta valley, Frontier regions etc., so that the search can be done in those areas. In this case, it was only mentioned “Tropical valleys”. I tried several locations between the months of April and September in 2011, but was unable to locate this species. In 2012, I was taking a long trek along with my assistant and my assistant in a heavy forested region in the tropical zone to document another plant we had spotted few months back. The location was around 6 to 7 hours trek from the nearest village and it was impossible to return on the same day. Hence, we were carrying tents, food etc for the day. Midway, we were cooking our lunch on the banks of the stream we were following. My assistant boy was a local of the region and had the art of making utensils like spoons, glasses etc. from bamboos and plates from leaves for serving food. He was able to find few bamboos from near the stream, but was not able to collect wide leaves to make plates. As he was looking after the cooking, I went inside the thick forest to bring few wide leaves. While inside the forest, I found two orchids in bloom which I had already documented a year ago. Those finds made me do some survey in that location, with my mind saying “I will find something more”. Usually it has been advised by the Forest officials not to venture deep inside the forest all alone. As I was already inside the thick forest, I decided to do a quick survey and was constantly in touch with my helper by blowing whistles (a way of communication inside thick forests).

The forest was very thick, so movement as well as locating plants from tree tops were not easy. Within five minutes I came across two fallen trees. Fallen trees are always a home to many wild orchids. To my surprise I found a two stemmed single plant of this species with almost dried flowers. I was so excited I ran back to the stream to bring my camera and my assistant to help me. We searched the whole area for more plants with fresh flowers, but never able to locate anymore. As the plants were on a fallen tree, I started documenting the flowers without any help from my assistant. However, he used that time to climb few trees near by for a closer survey and was lucky to find another cluster of this species with fresh flowers. I too climbed up that tree and produced this beautiful photograph, probably the first of its kind from the region. Thus updating the information of its blooming time with more accuracy.

We both were returning so happy just to see a herd of 21 elephants on the stream enjoying their bath after smashing off our lunch and my beautiful tent and back pack!!!.


King, G. & Pantling, R. (1898). The Orchids of the Sikkim-Himalayas. Ann. Roy. Bot. Garden.(Calcutta). Eria pumila, Lindl., Page no 118 – 119.

Pleione maculata (Lindl.) Lindl. & Paxton.

The Plant

Epiphyte, pseudo-bulbs varying in shape at different stages of growth, generally cylindric to barrel shaped, its surface mottled with purplish brown, enveloped by loose brown fibers. Leaf in pairs, 6 to 15 cm long and 3 to 4 cm in width, narrowly elliptic-oblong, acute, narrowed to the petiole, base sheathed with bracts having nodular inflations. Leaf-less during flowering.

The Flower

Flowers solitary, erect, large, 5 to 6 cm across, rising from the base of the pseudo-bulb by a very short peduncle covered in a large spathaceous flower bract with broad emarginate apex, longer than the ovary. Sepals spreading, sub-equal, oblong to lanceolate, sub-acute, 7 nerved. Petals spreading, narrower than the sepals, of the same length or slightly shorter than latter, oblong, five to seven nerved. Lip broadly elliptic, three lobed, the basal part convolate round the column; the lateral lobes entire and narrower; the terminal broader, with sub-entire edges and broad apex. The disc with 5 to 7 fimbriate ridges. Column long and slightly curved, its apex winged. Pollinia elliptic.

Sepals and petals pure white, occasionally with streaks of dark brownish pink. The lip is white based with its interior marked with yellow and brownish pink streaks. The fimbriate ridges are yellow.

Pleione maculata, (Lindl), Lindl
Pleione maculata (Lindl), Lindl.

The Pursuit

A rare and threatened species of the region. Very rarely spotted in the natural habitats in the past decade. However, it is surprising to see many orchid scientists and researchers published its photographs in many articles. It amused me to know most of them had never been too long in the region. I had closely studied many photographs to find that the colouration and structure never matched the descriptions of King and Pantling. Later, I found that this species is growing in many nurseries of the region – one of the reasons of its disappearance from the natural habitats, and all those scientists had the privilege of documenting the plant and its flower from those nurseries. The species is a native to tropical forests and its translocation to higher altitude made it adopt another characteristics which was evident in all those photographs.

Hence, I decided to find it from its natural habitats itself. As it is a low altitude species and native to tropical valleys, the search was concentrated on the banks of river Teesta. However, I was not able to spot them from any of the places known to me. In the month of October, I was traveling in a service vehicle to another region in search of some species. A group of ladies were the co-passengers, returning to their homes after purchase in connection with Durga puja (a big festival of the region). As a practice, I always show my co-passengers drawings of orchids made by Pantling from my IPad. It had helped me a lot as many people had given me enough tips to find many species. I had shown the drawing of this species also. One of the ladies identified it and even narrated stories of collecting its flowers for the Durga puja (it flowers in the month of October/November, the season of Durga puja). She had explained to me about its location which is near to her maternal home. I noted down all the points for identifying the location from her talks. Next week, I started my journey to her village, where I luckily got some contacts. However, even after searching for three days we were not able to locate the tree or the plant. On the fourth day, as we were about to go to another site for search, we met the same lady in the village market. She is back in her home in connection with the Durga puja. My contacts were very well connected with her and made enquiries about the location of the tree. After getting maximum information, our small party of three went to the place she directed. All the three were climbing different trees to locate the plant. Finally, after a search of around four hours we found a small patch of plants, numbering 14, in full bloom. It was such an exciting moment to all of us. I was so lucky when the whole village was celebrating the Durga puja with local brew and drinks, my loyal contacts were happy to be with me in locating the plant. If we had waited for all the celebrations to be over, we would have found the flowers in a withered state only. With the help of those very kind friends I was able to produce this wonderful photograph with all the characteristics described by King and Pantling.

Later on, last year, I found one more habitat of this rare plant.

Pleione hookeriana (Lindl.) Rollisson.

The Plant

Epiphyte, with small oval shaped pseudo bulbs covered with a few lax sheaths. Leaf solitary, 3 to 5 cm long and 1 to 1.5 cm cm in width, proceeding from the base of the adult pseudo-bulb, narrowly elliptic, acute, tapering towards the petiole. Leafy during flowering. Peduncle longer than the leaves, enclosed in tubular imbricate sheaths.

The Flower

Flowers solitary, 2 to 3 cm across, floral bract about as long as the stalked ovary, arising from the apex of the pseudo-bulb and protruding through the petiole of the leaf. Sepals spreading, sub-equal in length, elliptic to oblong, the dorsal slightly narrowed than the lateral, five nerved. Petals spreading, narrower and longer than the petals, obtuse, 5 to 7 nerved. Lip sub-reniform, cordate at base, broader in its posterior half, minutely erose in its anterior portion, apex retuse, disc with 7 ciliate ridges from the base to apex. Column long and curved, broadly winged. Pollinia obliquely elliptic.

Sepals and petals are of various shades of pale pink to rose, slightly darkening towards the margins. Lip almost white with a few reddish brown markings on its disc. The ciliate ridges are bright yellow.

Pleione hookeriana, Lindl
Pleione hookeriana Lindl.

 The Pursuit

A rather common species of the high altitude hills. I had spotted this species from several hilly areas of the region during my work. In the pre-monsoon days this species creates an interesting view, with hundreds of flowers fully covering many tree trunks. Before my research on orchids of Sikkim-Himalayas, I had noticed this species in full bloom during one of my trips to North Sikkim. The observation of the species in flower from a very high altitude caught our attention and we did some photo shoots. On our way back me and my fellow class mates had a long conversation about the species. Later on, I started my research on orchids and became an almost permanent resident of the region. During its flowering season, I was working from Lachen in North Sikkim and decided to study and document the species from those same trees.

The trees are on the right side of a sharp curve on an ascending road (most of the roads of North Sikkim are uphill only!!!). The sharp curve coupled with the ascending nature of the road makes all vehicles slow down there. Thus the flowers on those trees had bought the attention of all passing by. Even the taxi operators got a scheduled stop there for the tourists to have photo shoots.

I visited the place every time when I went up the road. Finally, the flowers started opening up. My visits turned regular and saw more and more flowers in bloom. My intention was to get maximum blooming flowers in one frame. Finally, I decided the shoot for the next day and also wanted to document the top most growing plant in bloom. The reason was that, this is the highest growing epiphytic orchid of the region at 11,800 ft MSL. That means the top most flower on those trees will be the record bearer for the highest growing epiphytic orchid of the region!!!. Our journey uphill from Lachen was systematically planned with ladder, hooks, ropes, cardboards etc. While in the spot only we realized the fact that the ladder width is around half the diameter of the tree, hence it is difficult for it to hold on to the tree. My driver came up with some ideas to fix the ladder rigidly with some iron wires he found nearby. I and my assistant were right up the tree taking much caution not to destroy any plants on the trunk and branches. I selected the topmost flower, luckily it was a fresh flower too. Shooting was so difficult due to heavy winds. The flower was shivering in the wind, which makes sharp photos impossible. My assistant was kind enough to hold many hardboards on almost all sides to prevent wind and made me produce this wonderful photograph of the species, the highest blooming epiphytic orchid of the region!!!

Pleione praecox (Sm.) D.Don.

The Plant

Mostly epiphytic, seen also growing on rocks and even as terrestrial. Pseudo-bulbs vary in shape from cylindric to barrel, surface mottled with brown and imperfectly sheathed with fibers. Leaves in pairs, 6 to 14 cm long and 2 to 4 cm in width, membranous, elliptic to oblong, many-nerved, narrowed at the base to the petiole. Leaf less during flowering. Peduncle from the base of the pseudo bulb. Flowers solitary, mostly pendulous, large, 4 to 6 cm across. Floral bract obovoid, obtuse, as long as the stalked ovary. Sepals spreading, sub-equal and lanceolate. Petals spreading, much narrower than the sepals. Lip ovate to orbicular, side lobes absent, the basal convolate round the column, the anterior concave, the mouth wide open with irregular lobulate edges, the apex slightly bifid. The disc with three laciniate lamellae. Column very long, with a short sac at the base. Pollinia clavate.

The Flower

Sepals, petals and lip are of various shades of rose to pink, sometimes darker or lighter. The disc of the lip got many dull yellow to brown spots, the lamellae is of a bright yellow shade. However, several colour forms of this species are spotted on various locations like pure white form, with only the lip with white etc.

Pleione praecox, (Sm) D. Don
Pleione praecox (Sm) D. Don.

The Pursuit

This species is locally common in the region. It blooms in plenty in its natural habitats between September and November. As it blooms after shedding its leaves, the species turns the whole trunk on which it is growing into a shade of pink. The flowers show enough colour variations from dark pink to pale pink and sometimes pure white. My intention was to find the flower with the exact descriptions made by Sir George King and Robert Pantling in their monumental work a century ago. This made the task somewhat difficult. I studied and observed several hundred specimens from various locations and host trees for several days. Finally, zeroed on a particular tree with hundreds of flowers. The tree was of 70 to 80 ft in height with with around 8 ft diameter trunk and huge branches. The flowers which I wanted to document were at a height of around 18 ft from the ground on the main trunk. In the absence of a ladder, I always uses a rope circled around the trunk to climb trees. With this tree that was impossible, as it will destroy many flowers on its trunk. The only option was to climb up another tree near to it and move across its branches to the top of this tree and winch down using a long rope. The cold winds and leafy moss covered branches will not make such movements and manoeuvring easy at staggering heights in deep forests. Somehow, I managed it with the help of my assistant and hung down from the branch with the help of a rope at 20 feet high from the ground and made this wonderful photograph of its flowers – with all the characteristics matching the text of King and Pantling.

Mycaranthes pannea (Lindl.) S.C. Chen & J.J.Wood.

Epiphyte. Rhizomes thick, stems very short, even unnoticeable. Leaves pendulous, fleshy, cylindrical, pointed at the apex, 5 to 8 cm long and less than .35 cm in diameter. Peduncle woolly, terminal with 1 to 3 flowers. Flowers about 1 to 1.5 cm across, sepals and petal bright yellow with green shade while opening and turns to orange shade in a day or two. Lip is with shades of dark brown with a bright yellow marking on its apex. Dorsal sepal broadly elliptic, lateral pair ovate to triangular, spreading. Petals smaller than the sepals, elliptic. Lip fleshy, oblong, concave, downy with oblong granular calli near the base and apex. Sepals and petals externally pubescent.

Eria pannea, lindl (Mycaranthes pannea, Lindl)
Eria pannea lindl (Mycaranthes pannea Lindl)

The Pursuit

A very interesting plant with pendulous narrow cylindrical fleshy leaves. The leaves are seen hanging down in long lines from the under side of tree branches. I had spotted this rarely only. The species is getting rarer and rarer, hence I put extra attention on the specimens I found and waited for them to be in flowers. The climb up the tree was very hard as the single trunk tree was a huge old one with no support to climb. The villagers of the area who are very familiar with climbing trees did a lot of hard work in helping me to climb up the tree along with my camera equipments up the tree. The first day of documentation was not satisfying as I was not able to bring out the hairy details of the flowers. My desire to back lit the flower with flashes at this great height made it a very difficult task. After several ideas and attempts I was able to fix the flashes on the appropriate position to bring out such a wonderful photograph of the species with amazing details.

Mycaranthes floribunda (D.Don) S.C.Chen & J.J.Wood.

Epiphyte. Stems 2 to 3 ft long and about 1.5 cm in diameter. Leaves many, fleshy, linear, sessile, 2 to 3 cm long and hardly 1 cm in width. Racemes in terminal fascicles, 2 to 3 in numbers, sometimes even up to 5, 5 to 12 cm long, woolly with lanceolate bracts at their bases. Flowers around 1 cm across, translucent, petals and sepals and the lip is of a pale yellowish green base. Petals and base of the lip with broad purple shade and deep blotches of the same colour, except on the midrib portion and edges of the petals and on the callus of the lip. Sepals with irregular pale purple markings. Dorsal sepal ovate and the lateral pair more towards a triangular shape, spreading. Petals as long as the dorsal sepal, obovate. The lip is sub-orbicular, 3 lobed, the base with a large callus, lateral lobes oblong, sub-falcate. All parts are pubescent externally.

Eria paniculata, Lindl (Mycaranthes floribunda (D.Don)
Eria paniculata Lindl (Mycaranthes floribunda (D.Don).

The Pursuit

This species can be found growing in the tropical forests of the region. However, the find of this specimen was accidental. It was in the late days of winter and I was on a trip to locate some other plants. The survey was in a valley which is a tributary of the river Teesta, at low elevation. I have to climb down from 4800 ft to the valley. As there was a village in the valley the trek path was regularly used by villagers. As it was the early spring month the undergrowth on the valley was also moderate. Hence I was searching for some terrestrial orchids in the valley. As the schools of the region are yet to open after the winter vacations, a few kids of the village also joined me. As they know me and my work, they also joined the search operation for the ground orchids. After a couple of hours of search and survey, we all were crossing the tributary through a wooden bridge. All of a sudden one of the boys spotted this plant, a pendulous stem about 2 ft long with flowers on a tree next to the bridge. I was surprised to see it in flowers too. The enthusiastic boys were ready to pull the plant down for me. It has always been my policy not to remove the plants from its natural habitats. The plant was hardly 12 to 15 ft high on the tree. My companions were expert enough to climb up the tree before me. This valley of the region is always devoid of any wind or breeze, which makes it very much comfortable to shoot even pendulous plants. With the help of the three kids I produced this wonderful photograph. After that I came across this species in flower many times for the next 2 to 3 months from several locations also.

Trichotosia dasyphylla E. C. Parish & Rchb.

Epiphyte, but seen as lithophyte also in many habitats. A spreading plant with very narrow and hairy creeping stems. Leaves small, obovate, sessile, fleshy with hairy surfaces. Flowers small, less than 1 cm across, solitary, on pubescent peduncles. Sepals and petals are of a pale green colour flushed with yellow. Lip is of the same shade but with a large dark purple blotch on its disc and a few pale brown spots at its base. The anther cap got two bright red markings. Sepals unequal, dorsal small, elliptic; the lateral pair large, triangular; both externally pubescent. Petals smaller than the sepals, oblong. Lip large, oblong, with narrowed base, side lobes very shallow, the terminal slightly deflexed.

Eria dasyphylla, Par and Reichb (Trichotosia dasyphylla, E C Parish & Rchb)
Eria dasyphylla Par and Reichb (Trichotosia dasyphylla E C Parish & Rchb)

The Pursuit

A very rare plant in its natural habitats. To my surprise I found this species on a roadside tree during one of my routine surveys. It was a tall single trunk tree to the right side of the road on the valley. Every time I pass through that location I make a short break there to see the tree and this species. I was aware of its blooming season from my referral book. The flowers are so small and not much documentary evidences about its flowers were available. Moreover, I am fond of documenting small flowers, where I can use my skills very well. By the first monsoon showers itself, I noticed buds developing on those small stems. The plants were high as 24 ft, quite a terrifying height when the tree is single trunk and in a valley. To avoid risky climbing on that tall tree everyday, I had erected a flat top ladder and was observing the plants and its flowers from very close quarters. Within ten days, most of the buds were in bloom. Then only I observed that the flowers are less than a cm across and got a lot of colour variations externally and also few markings and spots inside its small lip. On the base of the lip, the colour variation was more interesting. It was like gradually changing from pale to dark shade. I wanted those colourations to be recorded without any manipulations and tried hard with the micro flashes. Even the use of micro flashes were not of any help. The opening of the lip was just 8 mm only and the flash lights were not able to lit inside the lip. As there were a lot of buds and flowers I was having some time to rethink and plan my strategies. For the next few days, emails flew across continents and hours of phone calls to many people ended up with a new idea of using an optical fibre cable to light up the inside of the lip. Two optical fibre cables were brought all the way from the Land of Rising Sun in a chartered supersonic jet. The same was brought to the hills in a helicopter. Due to the combined ideas and efforts of several people things were made easy for me. Rest was something great, the use of a new technology till now unknown to the world. The images I produced with that new technology was amazing. It brought out till unknown details of a small flower. Also it had opened the flood gates for future flower photography too. I owe a lot to many people around the globe for this wonderful idea and this beautiful photograph.

Eria lasiopetala (Willd) Ormerod.

Epiphyte as well as lithophyte. Pseudo-bulbs much compressed with sheathed bases, vertically ribbed, 4 to 7 cm long and 2 to 3 cm in width, arranged at a distance of 3 to 4 cm apart on a stout and clothed rhizome. Leaves from the apex of the bulbs, three to five in numbers, almost oblong, tapering to the base, 5 to 9 cm long and 2 to 3 cm in width. Raceme from the base of the bulbs, erect, stout, fully covered with soft hairs. Flowers 4 to 10, about 2 cm across. Sepal hairy on the outer surface; dorsal small, lanceolate, arching; lateral large, triangular and spreading. Petals parallel over the column, narrowed at the base. Lip oblong, three lobed; lateral lobes very narrow, terminal lobe oblong, acute, slightly deflexed, the disc with two ridges.

Eria flava, Lindl (Eria lasiopetala (Willd))
Eria flava Lindl (Eria lasiopetala (Willd))

The Pursuit

A very common plant of the tropics. Can be easily distinguished by its compressed and ribbed bulbs. I had seen this species on various habitats of the region during my earlier visits itself and documented it in the year 2011. However, back in my class room in Delhi only I noticed the fact that I miserably failed in documenting the very peculiar characteristics of this species. This species got soft, wooly hairs on its external side of its sepals. As usual one more year of wait to see those in bloom again. In the year 2012, I visited the same place and documented new flowers from the same plant with more concentration and lighting techniques to document its very peculiar characteristics. Even though I had spend extra money and time on this species, my professor back in the college was very much happy to see the new documented evidences.

Pinalia amica (Rchb.f) Kuntze.

Epiphyte. Pseudo-stem 3 or 4 arise from one point, clavate shaped, ribbed from base to apex, with several large sheaths. Leaves from the apex, 3 to 5 in number, oblong-lanceolate, tapering to the base, 5 to 8 cm in length and 2 to 3 cm in width. Each stem with 3 to 4 raceme, arising from the axils of each sheath. Flowers many, less than 2 cm across. Sepals and petals brownish yellow with 5 purple veins all through its length. The lateral lobes, disc and lamellae of the lip is purplish red and its apical lobe bright yellow.

Eria confusa, Hook (Pinalia amica (Rchb.f) Kuntze
Eria confusa Hook (Pinalia amica (Rchb.f) Kuntze.)

The Pursuit

A beautiful species with wide range of habitats in the region. Its peculiar stems are an attraction and can be easily spotted. I had located the species in my earlier days of flower hunt itself. However, I missed it for a couple of seasons and got the opportunity to document it in the year 2012 only. When I visited the plant I marked for documenting, the whole branch of that host tree was full of flowers of this species. Even though the flowers are only 2 cm across, they grow in dense raceme to create a beautiful view. Being a common species, I haven’t put much attention and was casually documenting it with 5 micro flashes. After the shoot, when I was transferring the photographs only I noticed its peculiar lip disc and the well developed lamellae. Then I decided to document those flowers again and to record those details in a better way. With fallen logs and bamboo pieces from the forest floor quickly made an erect structure of about 8 ft high. Tied it to the host tree with local creeper twigs and climbed on to it to create a steady view of the flowers. Selected a few freshly bloomed flowers and with 11 micro flashes and 2 optical fibre cable lightings I produced this wonderful photograph of the species. If anybody ask me to gift the best photograph from my collection, I will surely offer this photograph.