Acampe praemorsa

Species of the Month – July 2013

Acampe praemorsa (Roxb.) Blatt. & McCann

Acampe Lindl. is a genus of monopodial, epiphytic orchids. In India its observed that there are five species belonging to this genus are found. The name Acampe was derived from the Greek word akampas, meaning “rigid”, referring to the brittle and inflexible flowers.

Acampe praemorsaAcampe praemorsa (Roxb.) Blatt. & McCann in some places is also commonly known by brittle tiger orchid, perhaps due to the fact that the petals have bright prominent red marking resembling the stripes of a tiger. This species is said to be commonly found in many parts of western ghats. The distribution of this species is said to be in India, SriLanka.

This species has short and compact inflorescence usually bearing numerous flowers. The flowers are very fragrant and quite attractive of course. The typical size of the flower is around 1cm to 1.5cm. The flowering usually starts in the month of March and continues till June. Being a slow grower and sun loving, plants are robust and they require appropriate growing conditions when cultivated. It is also not very popular in cultivation probably because of its small sized flowers.

Acampe praemorsa

The occurance of this species in Western Ghats is common. It is usually observed in the moist deciduous forests. Uncontolled development activities and habitat destruction is posing a major threat not only to this species but for many of the species in Western Ghats.

1. A catalogue of Indian Orchids by C.S. Kumar and K.S. Manilal
2. Introduction to Orchids by Abraham and Vatsala
3. Wild orchids of Northern Western Ghats by Satish Pande et al.

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