Habenaria rariflora

Species of the Month – December 2016

Habenaria rariflora A.Rich.

This terrestrial species usually blooms in the months of August-September.
This 5-6inches tall plant produces white flowers.

Habenaria rariflora
Habenaria rariflora plant

Inflorescence has two flowers usually, rarely three. Flowers are pure white with noticeable spur longer than flower.

The typical habitat to find this is grassy slopes in the open where usually there is high amount of rainfall occurs. The flowering seems to start after a good amount of rainfall has happened. Leaves are usually 3-4 in number. Like other Habenarias, this species stays dormant all through the year surviving on its tubers underground. Plant seem to occur in large numbers where the necessary  climatic conditions are met.

Habenaria rariflora
Habenaria rariflora flower

This is a commonly seen terrestrial species. With the plants occurring in large numbers and with many flowers open together during the flowering season, the plants can be observed quite easily.
The flowers of Habenaria grandifloriformis Blatt. & McCann may appear quite similar to that of H. rariflora. However upon close observation it can be easily seen that the leaves of these two plants are totally different as well.

1. Conservation of Wild Orchids of Kodagu in the Western Ghats