Distributed to Indo-China (Myanmar (formerly Burma), Thailand and Vietnam) the epiphytic growing Luisia thailandica Seidenf. 1971 is a strange looking orchid and is easily confused with Luisia psyche Rchb.f. 1863. The difference between the two Luisia orchids, Luisia thailandica has no true side lobes, while Luisia psyche has true side lobes. Most of the Luisia thailandica species orchids, which we saw, had also yellow fissures at their maroon red lips, while Luisia psyche had deep, dark purple lips. We found both of this outstandig orchid species at an agricultural exhibition in Chiang Mai, North Thailand, which gave us the chance to match them against each other. Luisia thailandica has been described in the year 1971 by the Danish botanist and diplomat Gunnar Seidenfaden (1908-2001), who did essential research on Thai orchids. As this extraordinary orchid became rare in the wild it is protected by CITES Appendix II (trade controlled to avoid use incompatible with species survival). Flowers get a size of about 2 cm. Flowering period: May – June.
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Image: Luisia thailandica Seidenf. 1971