Common name: Jerdon’s Porpax • Marathi: Fulpakhru Amri

Small, epiphytic herbs; pseudobulbs 5-6 mm across, flat, discoid, covered by rigid net-like sheaths. Leaves 2, orbicular or ovate, yellowish-brown or green, tomentose on both sides, to 2 cm across, prominently veined. Flowers 1 or 2, between the leaves, pale-brown, subsessile, terminal or lateral, 8 mm long. Calyx connate, tubular, up to 5 mm long. Petals free, included within the calyx tube. Lip with a short erect teeth at apex, 3-lobed, fleshy, articulated with the column foot. Pollinia 8, connate in 4s. Capsule 3 x 2 mm, trigonous or ovoid, tomentose, 1 or 2 from the pseudobulbs between leaves; stalk to 2 mm long.

Flowering and fruiting: July-August
Semi-evergreen and moist deciduous forests
Western Ghats

Id please : Attachments (1). 25 posts by 8 authors.
Please identify the plant
It was collected from the Nilambur Ghats of kerala.

A very weird looking plant never seen it before !!

This is an orchid but I dont know the name.

It reminds me about Macodes sp. but not sure.

Where did you see Macodes in India :), … That is a terrestrial orchid by the way, but you were too close. Leaves does look like Macodes but they are not found in India. This is an epiphytic Orchid, ma sometimes foudn on rocks and not weird but very beautiful.
One of the few epiphytic orchids which qualifies to be called Jewel orchid, but usually not called so.
This is Porpax gigantea Deori, Bull. Bot. Surv. India 17: 174 (1975 publ. 1978).

I have seen macodes sps in upper sanitorium of Ponmudi – Trivandrum ,Kerala.

That must be a new record of India …, do share the pics if possible. I would love to see.

I dont have picture for that ,

…, Yes, it is a beautiful plant. If you can send the photo of the flower then ID would be easier.

Interesting!!! Let me confirm whether I have seen it in forest or not?
Google search is showing this image repeatedly for Porpax gigantea.
If it is right then it looks different.

Those small things in the center are the fully opened flowers.

…, if it is a fully opened flower, then it does not look like an orchid flower.

Strangely the photographs of Porpax gigantea on the web look much different from above one, some on the website of Orchid Board:

Check out for the photographers of the link, one mistake may lead to another. Secondly those link may contain pics from garden, so may be some ornamental varieties. Leaves may not have reticulations in the beginning, but later they do have. 7 species of Porpax are found in India.

A very strange thing happened just now. Out of my too busy schedule, I thought of checking this plant again from the references I currently have. From my self I took out a book THE ORCHIDS OF SIKKIM AND NORTH
EAST HIMALAYA by C J Lucksom. It has 984 pages and the biggest coincidence was, when I kept the book on my laps it straightaway opened to page no 546 which has a sketch of Porpax fibuliformis….. this is strange but yet so interesting… But that doesnt mean that the pic above is fibuliformis…. :))
…., can you please check this pic and give your views.

I rechecked the links provided by … and … and found that the picture there most probably belongs to Porpax ustulata (E.C.Parish & Rchb.f.) Rolfe, Orchid Rev. 16: 8 (1908).

It is an epiphytic plant.
It grows on the bark of some tree species. If u watch carefully, u can see the tree bark.
Actually the photograph was taken by a field assistant, so he didn’t make any note on the plant.

I showed the plant to one of my friend in Singapore and according to him this is Jewel orchid macodes.

To me also Macodes looks a better option, as also suggested by …

it matches well with Porpax jerdoniana

Thanks a lot … I am sure you are right.
Taxonomy is not about options. A plant can have only one accepted name.
Macodes is supposed to belong to the Sub Family: Orchidoideae (PLANT HAS ROOT STEM TUBEROIDS), and it is a terrestrial plant, i.e. it grows on ground, the floral stalk is an elongated one with multiple flowers;
Porpax belongs to Sub Family: Epidendroideae (PLANT WITHOUT ROOT STEM TUBEROIDS), and it is an epiphytic plant, i.e., it grows on other trees or sometimes lithophytes, i.e., grows on rocks, floral stalk is subsessile with one or two flowers only.
Attaching one pic which I dont want to be added to the eflora database. Those are not tuberoids but pseudobulbs below the leaves.
But my plant is Porpax gigantea. Infact in gigantea leaves look the same but flowers are bigger… pic, but now I know that they are two different plants. Infact in gigantea looks the same but leaves are bigger.
Thanks again for the help … u r great as always!!!

Porpax Jerdoniana : Attachments (1). 8 posts by 4 authors.

Porpax Jerdoniana.
Location – Goa.
July 2013

Beautifull click … i miss it in flowering 🙁

How to differentiate between P jerdoniana and P gigantea, both recorded from Northern Western Ghats?

… if you see flower it is different from jerdoniana and also this link shows it’s distribution which is North east india and north eastern country’s
http://e-monocot.org/taxon/urn:kew.org:wcs:taxon:163420 Link is here

……, later species is also reported from Karnataka, which is adjacent to Goa. BTW … observed the formar species from Tungareshwar, couple of days back.

P gigantea found in karnataka!!!!!! thats great yahh heard about jerdoniana sighting from tungareshwer on same day when … found it !!

Porpax jerdoniana (Wight) Rolfe
Dear friends, perhaps this photo may not be appealing; but it is all I have at present of Porpax jerdoniana
at Anmod on 23 APR 11

Hahahaha, No I cant ID this 🙂

It can be IDed upto Porpax. Specifically jerdoniana because … has been meeting these individuals during every visit in this area.

Wonderful Shot … Looks like some animal…………………..


Orchidaceae fortnight ..Porpax jerdoniana :  Attachments (2). 9 posts by 7 authors.
sharing very cute little orchid ..
Porpax jerdoniana

… yes definitely cute. Many thanks … for sharing this Porpax. Yet to meet.

thank you all … It is very common on moist tree trunks in rainy season … some one has uploaded pic from forest nearby mumbai too on fb 🙂

Very cute like babies. Thanks so much
Yes Porpax jerdoniana

Thanks for sharing. Very good pictures of a healthy specimen!


Sharing few snaps of Butterfly Orchid.
Bot. name: Porpax jerdoniana
Family: Orchidaceae
Location: Anmode Ghat, Belgaum Goa route.
Identified by …

Amazing… Excellent Shots

Too good.


Flora of Kaiga_Sharing_ Porpax jerdoniana 20072016 PK1 : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (2) Pl see Attached 2 pics from Kaiga Uttarakannada Western Ghats. 

Date/Time-:12/07/2015   –    10:30,
Location- Place, Altitude – Kaiga , Uttar Kannada ,Karnataka, 380 mtrs
Habitat- Garden/ Urban/ Wild/ – Wild
Habit- Tree/ Shrub/ Climber/ Herb-  Epiphytic

 Images by tspkumar



TSP-JUL2016-14-414: Images of Porpax jerdoniana (Orchidaceae) : 5 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (5)

It is my pleasure to present few images of Porpax jerdoniana (Orchidaceae

Ref: http://florakarnataka.ces.iisc.ernet.in/hjcb2/herbsheet.php?id=3073&cat=1

Ref: Flowers of India

Habit: Herb 

Habitat: Wild, Epiphytic, Evergreen forest 

Sighting: Chikmagalur-DK district border, Charmady Ghat, Karnataka, about 900 msl 

Date: 20-07-2016

Yes Porpax jerdoniana, did you open up the flower manually or it opened on its own? Even flower looks longer than the normal size of the species. There is something wrong here!!!
But thanks a lot for sharing.

Yes …, the flower was slightly pressed against the trunk to have a glimpse of the floral parts.


Flora of Uttara Kannada | 30Nov2010AR02 : Attachments (4). 4 posts by 4 authors.
Ragi hosahalli, Western ghats Uttara Kannada
Oct 2010
Habitat: Growing on the bark of a large tree, in the mid of the Benne river.

Nice one, Jewel orchid – as per …

I think so.

Thanks …, Yes you may call it an Epiphytic Jewel Orchid due to the ornamentation. But usually JEWEL ORCHIDS are terrestrials ones.
This is PorpaxOrchidaceae. Need to see the flower to identify the species.

P. jerdoniana from the ornamentation on leaves, but of course flowers hold the key

Looks like Porpax jerdoniana to me.


551 ID wild Orchid: 5 high res. images.
Please ID wild Orchid,
Location: bloomed near Vannappuram Thodupuzha Idukki Kerala INDIA
Altitude: 1500fsl
Flower date: 09SEP2023, 04.20pm
Habitat: wild moisture rocky evergreen misty sloppy canopied alpine
Plant habit: epiphyte circular papery bulbous Orchid, unbranched, annually
Leaves: alternate elliptic acute leathery velvety, size upto: 05×3cm
Flower: terminal buds, diameter:04mm, purplish, non fragrant
Camera: CANON EOS1500D +FL10x

Porpax jerdoniana (Wight) Rolfe !

Yes, it is Porpax jerdoniana dear …, thank you very much for ID my Orchid,

Yes Porpax jerdoniana.





The Plant List  Dinesh Valke’s Flickr Post  Flowers of India  India Biodiversity Portal 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *