Pleione hookeriana cluster at Phemkaru (2)

Pleione hookeriana cluster at Phemkaru (2)

Pleione hookeriana cluster at Phemkaru

Late in the growing season around the end of September the plant loses its leaves and the flowers bloom in shades of pink to almost white. This epiphytic plant flowers in large clusters at times, covering up an entire branch that from a distance may seem like a branch of pinkish hues.
On our first encounter with this species we were driving up from Lachen and around the little hamlet of Phemkaru we noticed a large cluster of this orchid. They were growing on a clump of moss on a high branch of a Hemlock tree. We tried our best to photograph the orchid perched at the top. We cranked out our 300mm zoom lens, climbed a hillock opposite the branch, balanced precariously on a rock but ended up with terrible angles. Disheartened we started to look for alternative ideas. One of us had the bright idea of trying to climb the tree on which the orchid rested. While exploring the area around the tree to find a suitable foothold to start the climb we noticed around a dozen individual orchids growing on a moss infested rocks under the tree and at a comfortable height and angle to get this shot. We learnt an important lesson that day. One should always do a bit of a reconnaissance survey of the immediate habitat before spending much energy and time on a species that may potentially be growing at a convenient spot.

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