*Mr Garg is correct this is Cautleya spicata.*
Please note, *C.spicata* has flowers crowded into an erect spike. In
'Flowers of the Himalaya' they describe *C.gracilis* as having a lax
drooping spike but certainly early on, it does not droop but the flowers
are few and distant.
*C.spicata* has spikes 13-23cm. C.gracilis 5-10cm (though it can be hard
to judge scale from photos taken from different distances).
*C.spicata* has red bracts as long as (thus covering) the calyx.
*C.gracilis* has green bracts much shorter than calyx.
*C.spicata* grows in shrubberies and amongst rocks, sometimes epiphytic
whereas *C.gracilis* is a forest epiphyte, sometimes growing on rocks.
*C.spicata* has narrow-elliptic leaves whereas *C.gracilis* has linear
Both species were recorded by Collet on Jako, Shimla.
The larger image in Cautleya on the Gingers of India site is of *C.spicata*.
smaller image named as *C.gracilis* does match this species. *Note that
Noltie in 'Flora of Bhutan' Vol 3 Part 1 (1994) considers that C.cathcartii
to probably be just be a robust form of C.gracilis.*
There are correct images showing *C.gracilis* as an epiphyte in Sikkim &
There are a number of images of herbarium specimens of *C.gracilis*
available on the Kew Herbarium site such as:
http://apps.kew.org/herbcat/getImage.do?imageBarcode=K001057270 which show
the distant flowers - though variation exists. Note that this was
originally thought to be a specimen of *C.cathcartii*.
*The situation is complicated by a number of images on the internet
(primarily of cultivated plants both in India and the West) having been
*this is common-place. It is worth repeating that my informal
investigations suggest at least 50% of plants in cultivation under
Himalayan names are misidentified. So you cannot always rely upon images on
the internet - the same principle applies (though hopefully much less than
50%) to images of plants taken in the Himalaya, in books and articles about
Himalayan plants are also misidentified). Even 'Flowers of the Himalaya'
has a few misidentifications amongst its images.... ALWAYS be cautious in
accepting the information provided on the internet and traditionally
printed articles and books. The content of many check-lists and floras
covering the Himalaya cannot always be relied upon. I find many littered
with clear-cut errors plus numerous questionable records. It is of course
difficult for those without the background or experience to be able to
question such things. We ALL of us need to be less trusting of
information. As for the content of articles published in the amazing array
of 'international' journals that abound these days - beware, it is often
not peer-reviewed or properly checked (though how could the content be).
Even the information supplied by prestigious international organisations is
not always accurate....*
On Thursday, October 6, 2016 at 5:42:47 PM UTC+1, raj wrote:
> Dear Members,
> Cautleya spicata for validation. Photo taken on the way to Gala approx
> height 7500 feet, Aug 14, 2016.
> With Regards,
> Narendra Joshi
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