T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Winika cunninghamii

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Orchidales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Dendrobieae
Subtribe: Dendrobiinae
Genre: Winika
Species: W. Cunningham
Scientific name: Winika cunninghamii   Previously known as Dendrobium cunninghamii.
Common names: Ladies Slipper orchid, winika, pekapeka, christmas orchid, bamboo orchid

Winika cunningham is an epiphytic orchid that is endemic to New Zealand, commonly found growing in rainforests through out New Zealand. The white flowers are 2 to 2.5 cm across.  It normally flowers in summer and early autumn.  The greenish-yellow stems are bamboo / reed-like and are intertwined. The narrow-linear leaves are yellow-green to dark green and are 3 - 5cm long by 3mm wide. 

Winika is the accepted old Maori name for this orchid. The name Te Winika was given to the sacred war canoe of the Tainui people because this orchid grew on the totara tree (Podocarpus totara) which was hollowed out to form the hull.