Rattlesnake Orchid is MBG’s Plant of the Month for September 2023

The Makiling Botanic Gardens (MBG) Plant of the Month (POM) for September 2023 is the Rattlesnake Orchid, scientifically known as Pholidota imbricata Lindl. in Hook. from the family Orchidaceae. Pholidota came from the Ancient Greek word pholidotos meaning “covered in scales”, specifying the large bracts at the base of the flower while “imbricata” is a Latin word meaning “overlapping like roofing-tiles and shingles”. The plant is native to the Philippines, Andaman Islands, Australia, Borneo, Cambodia, China, India, Java, Laos, Lesser Sunda Islands, Malay Peninsula, Moluccas, Myanmar, Nepal, New Caledonia, New Guinea, Nicobar Islands, Pacific Ocean, Pakistan, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Sumatra, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The Rattlesnake orchid is a clump-forming epiphytic orchid with a single pleated leathery leaf attached to a pseudobulb. It commonly grows on trees and rocks in rainforest and to other humid sheltered places. Its flowers are cup-shaped hanging in two ranks along a wiry flowering stem usually cream or greenish- colored attached to a large papery bract at the base of each flower.

These orchids were found to have good antibacterial and antifungal properties and are commonly used as an ethnomedicine by traditional people from the Himalayan. The tuber of the Rattlesnake orchid can be extracted and used as a treatment for stomach and rheumatic pains.

To know more about this plant, please watch this video: https://youtu.be/TWBqpheZj2o

By: AALimpiada and ACMalayba

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