Know about Donkey Orchids

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Donkey Orchids Quick Facts
Name: Donkey Orchids
Scientific Name: Diuris semilunulata
Origin Australia
With scientific name Diuris, the plant is commonly known from the name Donkey Orchid. The scientific name is derived from the Greek word “Di” which refers two and “ouris” which refers tail. The two lateral hanging petals resemble two hanging ears of donkey. As the petals swing in air, it resembles donkey squealing and moving its head. Flowers are 3-5 purplish measuring 4 cm (1.5 inches) long.  It is terrestrial which means it grows on ground and is perennial in nature. Leaves are grasslike. Fruit is a capsule with winged seeds. The plants have network of roots and 1 to 2 tubers. It prefers places with well drained soils and wet winters. 

Plant description

Diuris semilunulata is a perennial, terrestrial and geophytic herb with filamentose roots having naked, ovoid or cylindrical and paired tubers. Leaves are linear, basal, grass like, 15–25 cm long and 3–4 mm wide. Scape is 3 to 5 flowered, loose raceme and 20-35 cm high. Flowers are orange, hermaphroditic, heavily blotched or suffused with purple and brown. Dorsal sepal is erect, ovate measuring 6-10 mm long and 7-10 mm wide. Petals are ovate to obovate about 5–11 mm long by 4–9 mm wide. Labellum is 4-8 mm long. Fruit is a dehiscent, non-fleshy capsule that contains 30 to 500 minute, light-dark colored and winged seeds.

Culinary uses

Aborigines consume starch tubers.

References:

https://www.orchidsplus.com/donkey-orchid-facts/

https://www.earth.com/earthpedia/plant/vi/diuris-semilunulata/

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