Changnienia amoena, A Rare And Endemic Orchid In China


The orchid that we’re going to introduce today is called Changnienia amoena,it has only one flower, only one leaf,and also is the only species in the genus Changnienia. The orchid is an endemic plant in China. Although it is widely distributed in China,and can be seen from the eastern part of China to the eastern part of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau,and from the southern part of the Qinling Mountains to the northern part of the Nanling Mountains. But their population is very rare and scattered, it is not easy to get a glimpse of it in the wild. In order to protect the wild population,Changnienia amoena is designated as the national second-class protected plant by the government.
Changnienia amoena prefers to grow on the soil with abundant humus under the sparse forest with abundant rainfall and humidity or in the shady place along the valley, the soil is acidic, from 400m (east China) to 1800 m (west Sichuan) above sea level. Its type specimen was collected from Jiangsu Province. The life habit of single flower orchid is quite special, similar to Lycoris, but the flowering time of the two are different. In the middle and late September of each year, the underground pseudobulb begins to sprout and spread its leaf after half a year dormancy . The leaf is broadly elliptic, about half palm size, and the abaxial surface of the leaf is purple.
In the middle and late January, the scape sprouts from the underground pseudobulb, but then it would get into dormancy in the cold winter until the beginning of the following March and early April, when snow melts, the scape continues to grow and bloom, the diameter of the flower is about 3-4 cm. The flower is white with fleshy red or lilac halo,and with purple spots on the lip. With the rise of the temperature, the leaf gradually withers in the first ten days of May, and the pseudobulb will begin to grow up till the middle and late September. So far, Changnienia amoena has completed a life cycle. If the flower is pollinated successfully in spring, they will bear fruit, and the fruit will be ripe in late October to early January.


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