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Eulophia zollingeri facts for kids

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Carrion orchid
Eulophia zollingeri.jpg
Eulophia zollingeri near Kottiyoor, India
Scientific classification
  • Cyrtopera zollingeri Rchb.f.
  • Cyrtopera sanguinea Lindl.
  • Eulophia macrorhiza Blume
  • Cyrtopera rufa Thwaites
  • Cyrtopodium sanguineum (Lindl.) N.E.Br.
  • Cyrtopodium rufum (Thwaites) Trimen
  • Cyrtopera papuana Ridl.
  • Eulophia macrorhizon Hook.f.
  • Eulophia sanguinea (Lindl.) Hook.f.
  • Graphorkis macrorhiza (Blume) Kuntze
  • Graphorkis rufa (Thwaites) Kuntze
  • Graphorkis sanguinea (Lindl.) Kuntze
  • Cyrtopera formosana Rolfe
  • Eulophia formosana (Rolfe) Rolfe
  • Graphorkis papuana (Ridl.) Kuntze
  • Eulophia papuana (Ridl.) J.J.Sm. nom. illeg.
  • Eulophia macrorhiza var. minahassae Schltr.
  • Eulophia ochobiensis Hayata
  • Eulophia toyoshimae Nakai
  • Eulophia carrii C.T.White
  • Eulophia yushuiana S.Y.Hu
  • Eulophia emilianae C.J.Saldanha
  • Eulophia zollingerioides P.O'Byrne

Eulophila zollingeri, commonly known as the carrion orchid or 无叶美冠兰 (wu ye mei guan lan), is a plant in the orchid family and is native to areas from tropical and subtropical Asia to Queensland. It is a leafless, brownish terrestrial orchid with up to forty reddish brown, sharply scented flowers with a dark red and yellow labellum. It grows in decaying wood in and near rainforests.


Eulophia zollingeri is a terrestrial herb with an underground pseudobulb. It has no green leaves but fleshy, pointed bracts on the flowering stem. Between six and forty reddish brown flowers 40–50 mm (1.6–2.0 in) long and 50–60 mm (2.0–2.4 in) wide are borne on a flowering stem 400–900 mm (20–40 in) tall. The flowers have a sharp, unpleasant odour. The dorsal sepal is elliptic to oblong in shape, 15–23 mm (0.6–0.9 in) long, 4–7 mm (0.2–0.3 in) wide and curves forward. The lateral sepals are more or less oblong in shape, 16–25 mm (0.6–1 in) long, 6–9 mm (0.2–0.4 in) wide and have a pointed tip. The petals are lance-shaped, 11–18 mm (0.4–0.7 in) long, 5–7 mm (0.2–0.3 in) wide. The labellum is dark red, yellow on the outside, oblong to egg-shaped, 14–15 mm (0.55–0.59 in) long, 15–18 mm (0.6–0.7 in) wide and has three lobes. The middle lobe curves downward and has short, thick hairs whilst the side lobes are erect. Flowering occurs between December and February in Australia and from April to May in China

Taxonomy and naming

The carrion orchid was first formally described in 1857 by Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach who gave it the name Cyrtopera zollingeri and published the description in Bonplandia. In 1905, Johannes Jacobus Smith changed the name to Eulophia zollingeri.

Distribution and habitat

Eulophia zollingeri grows in and near the edges rainforest where there is rotting wood. It occurs in China, Taiwan, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, New Guinea, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam and tropical northern Queensland.

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