Shoe-shaped Belly-lip Orchid

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED

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Gastrochilus calceolaris - This peculiar name was coined by the Scottish botanist David Don in 1825 as the lip looks blown up like a beer belly. This orchid species is widespread across most of Southeast Asia such as the Himalayas. Its natural habitat is subtropical forests at altitude levels between 200-2300m. This orchid flowers between March and April. The flowers are a translucent cream marked with dark brown spots and a white marked lip with fringes. They are roughly 2cm wide and grow in large clusters of several florets. This plant intertwines itself up tree trunks in dense and humid forests. Unfortunately, this plant is threatened by the loss and degradadtion of habitat and over-collection for trade. It is widely utilized as an ornamental plant in houses.