Acanthophippium bicolor Lindl., Edwards’s Bot. Reg. 20: t. 1730 1835.;
S. & E. India, Sri Lanka as per POWO;
Common name: Jug Flower Orchid

Terrestrial herbs; pseudobulbs ovoid, 5-14 x 2-5 cm. Leaves 2 or 3, 20-40 x 6-12 cm, broadly lanceolate, acuminate. Flowers yellow with purplish red, 3.5 cm across, in 2-5-flowered racemes from the top of new pseudobulbs; bracts 3.5 x 3, cymbiform; sepals fused to form gibbous tube; dorsal sepals 3.2 x 1.1 cm, oblong, obtuse; lateral sepals as long as or broader than dorsal sepal, fused with the foot along their inner edges forming the base of the pitcher, obtuse, recurved at apex; petals 3.1 x 1.5 cm, spathulate, obtuse; lip 3-lobed, 1.5 x 2 cm, lateral lobes erect, rounded; midlob recurved, oblong-spathulate, obtuse, disc 3-lamellate.

Flowering and fruiting: March-April
Evergreen forests
South India and Sri Lanka
(Attributions- Dr. N Sasidharan (Dr. B P Pal Fellow), Kerala Forest Research Institute, Peechi)


Acanthephippium bicolor Lindl. : 3 posts by 3 authors. 2 images.

Location- Sultan Bathery, Wayanad, Kerala

Habitat- Garden/ Urban/ Wild/ Type- Wild, in patches of 30 to 40 plants, Close to a stream with dense vegetation

Plant Habit- Herb

Height/Length-  2 ft.

Altitude : 3200 ft.

Acanthephippium bicolor Lindl.

Jug flower Orchid

Photographed close to a stream with dense vegetation plants. Photographed 25 years ago.

It is now going to be busy period of few days for … our Orchid expert, answering questions from a person layman on orchids
Our database lists two very similar genera Acanthephippium (two species A. bicolor and A. gougahensis) and Acanthophippium (A. striatum) which we generally consider as orthographic variants, and generally not allowed as distinct taxa. Luckily for me both POWO and Catalogue of life do not list former, and all our species are listed under latter. World Flora Online (and its older version TPL) list both but all our species under former, latter only with single ambiguous name Acanthophippium curtisii. As such I fail to understand two generic entries.

You have always been an expert.

Firstly, the correct spelling for the genus is Acanthophippium. Why? Because it was originally published by Blume with an “o” – attached image of protologue.
Most of these online websites have been a bit slow these days due to COVID and they have not been updating. while some websites have correct spelling.
Secondly, Acanthophippium gougahense is not found in India but here in Hong Kong. Yes it looks similar to A. bicolor but one easiest way to check is the tip of the labellum which is much shorter and broader in A. gougahense but narrower and longer in A. bicolor..
One major difference can be seen when you dissect the flowers. Dorsal sepal is much larger in (25-39 mm) in A. bicolor, 18-22 mm in A. gougahense. Labellum has three long ridges in the middle in A. bicolor, but in A. gougahense, the central ridge is much shorter and limited to the front.
A. curtisii has a much broader labellum with 5 ridges on the labellum. The base of the flower is extended like spur which is not the case in other two,
A. striatum has more white flowers while the rest are yellow, all bearing red stripes. Labellum has only one ridge in the middle and base of flower is spur like.
Hope this helps.
The flower here belongs to A. bicolor.

Yes …, I found it strange to find both genera listed in our database.


27022021-TSP-475-Acanthephippium bicolor-Orchidaceae: 3 high res. images.
Presenting a few images of Acanthephippium bicolor, Orchidaceae.
Habit: Herb
Habitat: Wild, terrestrial, Wet evergreen forest floor
Sighting: Kottigehara, Chikmagalur, Karnataka, about 1300 msl
Date: 27-03-2016

Very pretty and such a rare plant.