T is for Toothbrush Orchid

I am writing about herbs in the 2016 April AtoZ blogging challenge. Most of the herbs written in this series are those I have seen or used. Today’s herb has a strange common name and I have not really understood why it is so-called as it bears no resemblance to the real object.

My T herb is the Toothbrush Orchid which doesnt look like a toothbrush at all.. The only resemblance by a long long stretch is that the flowers are all borne on one side, just like toothbrush bristles. I first saw this at the Kaas plateau and recently saw it much closer to Pune, near the Varsagaon dam. Those plants were only about 6″ tall, the creamy white flowers created a beautiful pattern on the grassy plateau. Young flowers are greenish white and change to yellow as they grow older.. 

It goes by the botanical name Habenaria heyneana and belongs to the Orchidaceae family. The Flowers of India website showed me 37 plants of the Habenaria genus- that’s huge variety is it not?

Tomorrow is the fourth Sunday of April 2016 and then we enter the final stretch of our blogging challenge. Its been a wonderful journey so far, I am sure you agree. 
Have a great weekend folks!

14 Replies to “T is for Toothbrush Orchid”

  1. yes form a distance it resembles a tooth brush. How cute. 🙂

    #AtoZChallenge – T is for Teething troubles

  2. I can see how it gets its common name, and would love to see it 'in the flesh', as it were, to confirm that.

    Twenty posts down, six to go. It's been a great month.

    Keith Channing A-Zing from keithkreates.com

  3. Hi bellybytes. Road to Panshet dam goes on to Varasgaon dam. This plant was seen in the adjoining hills in monsoon.

  4. How amazing is our nature!! Read and saw about Toothbrush Orchid for the first time! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. Lovely flowers and a beautiful theme for the challenge! I'm enjoying learning so many new things!
    Amanda (from amandafleet.co.uk)

  6. @Denise – This one grows in the wild too. In fact people are advised not to try to uproot and bring back the plants to the city because they will not survive here. Have a great day!

  7. They look really pretty. I have seen them only once or twice before.

    A Whimsical Medley
    Twinkle Eyed Traveller

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