Scientific: Ipsea speciosa
Sinhala: නගා මැරූ අල [Naga maru ala]
I.speciosa is a rare and endemic species of orchid found in Pathana grasslands of Sri Lanka. This has been reported mainly from the mid hills of the country. Most of the time existence of the orchid can be identified only during the flowering season which falls on April – May. Flowers are bright yellow in color.
In local medicine yams of this plant is considered as a powerful aphrodisiacs drug. This plant relates to a Sri Lankan folk tale that describes a story of killing his sister by a prince. According to the folk tale, one of prince who got angry upon his sister’s unexpected erotic behavior has killed his own sister. But later prince has found that his sister was innocent and the reason for her unexpected behavior is due to swallowing a piece of yam of this plant by mistake.
Sinhala name of this orchid (Naga Maru Ala) is translated to English as “Yam which killed the younger sister”.