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Common Name : Geodorum densiflorum     -       Scientific Name : Geodorum densiflorum       -       Other Name : Nodding Swamp orchid
Kok Mottai
11/09/2013
Kok Mottai
11/09/2013
Kok Mottai
11/09/2013
Maradanmaduwa
11/24/2013
Maradanmaduwa
11/24/2013

This is a ground orchid found under the shade of trees in moist grasslands, sandy areas, bordering beaches, rainforests and in semi-deciduous and deciduous dry lowland forests up to an altitude of about 1000 meters. Other than in Sri Lanka this beautiful orchid is found in Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesian islands, Malaysia, Moluccas, Sulawesi, Philippines, New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Australia, Fiji and Taiwan. There are two species of this genus known to occur in Sri Lanka. While the above species is considered rare the other species, Geodorum recurvum, is extremely rare with not enough data available in the country even to determine its status. The conservation status of the species under reference is regarded as “Vulnerable” (National Red List 2012).

Geodorum densiflorum is a species protected under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance as amended by Act No. 22 of 2009.

This ground orchid has a bulbous root and its broad leaves grow up to about 6-8 inches from the ground. The flower spike grows erect initially but shapes down giving it an “umbrella handle” shape as depicted in the photos.   In Wilpattu I first observed this species growing on the banks of a stream at Kok Mottai in late October 2013. As the plants were not in bloom it was not possible to determine the species. When I returned in early November I was pleased to observe few plants carrying the beautiful flowers depicted above. Thereafter in late November I observed this species again at Maradanmaduwa. It appears that these plants emerge with the arrival of the rains, as I had not observed them during the dry season. There were no records of this species from Wilpattu National Park even though it had been recorded from Yala National Park in the south.