Luisia psyche Rchb.f. 1863


Luisia psyche Rchb.f. 1863 an epiphytic growing orchid species, native to the Himalayas, Myanmar (formerly Burma), Thailand and Laos, is easily confused with Luisia thailandica Seidenf. 1971.

The difference between the two Luisia orchids, Luisia psyche has true side lobes, while Luisia thailandica has no true side lobes. Most of the Luisia psyche species orchids, which we saw, had deep, dark purple lips, while Luisia thailandica flowers had also yellow fissures at their maroon red lips. As the Greek word psyche means both, butterfly and soul and points to the insect-like form of the orchid, the synonym Cymbidium scarabiiforme E.C.Parish ex Rchb.f. 1865 fits in our opinion much better, as Luisia psyche orchids are more reminescent of a Scarabaeus, than a butterfly. To realize the beauty of this small orchid flower, Luisia psyche flowers get a size of just about 1,5 - 2 cm, You`ll need a magnifying glass. Even in our home country Thailand, where Luisa orchids are endemic, they are difficult to find, as most people prefer big colorful orchid hybrids. Luisia psyche orchids are protected by CITES Appendix II (trade controlled to avoid use incompatible with species survival).

Luisia psyche Rchb.f. 1863
© Orchids
Image: Luisia psyche Rchb.f. 1863

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