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Roscoea wardii - plant of the month June 2015

Thought to have been collected by Kingdon Ward in the Upper Irrawaddy area in the late 1920's, this plant remained undescribed until 1982 ( Cowley in Kew Bull 36(4)) when it was given specific ranking. Roscoea wardii, named for its presumed founder, is quite distinctive with its large labellum, which has emarginate lobes that give it a frilled appearance; it also has only three leaves which are glaucous beneath. Coming not only from meadows and open grassy places but can also be found on south facing gravel and alpine slopes, this species is well worth searching out and gives a touch of the exotic from May to the beginning of August

Ray Drew