Diplocaulobium kirchianum

Diplocaulobium kirchianum (A.D.Hawkes & A.H.Heller) P.F.Hunt & Summerh., Taxon 10 (1961) 109.

Basionym: Dendrobium kirchianum.

Rhizome creeping, branching. Pseudobulbs 0.65-1 cm apart, 1-leaved, subcylindrical, deeply 6-grooved, 1.5-1.8 by 0.28-0.4 cm, with the base appressed to the rhizome, ascending. Leaves curved, lanceolate, 2.2-3 by 0.55-0.75 cm, rigidly coriaceous, apex subequally bidentate. Inflorescences 1-flowered, spathe 0.8-0.9 cm long; peduncle 0.5 cm long. Pedicel 1.5 cm long; ovary 0.2 cm long, 6-angled, almost 6-winged, with the wings undulating. Flower c. 2 cm across. Dorsal sepal triangular-linear, 1.15 cm by 3 mm, apex acute. Lateral sepals obliquely triangular-linear-acuminate, 1.2 cm by 7 mm, apex acute; mentum 0.6 cm long, obtuse. Petals linear-lanceolate, slightly contracted above the base, 1.1 cm long, at the base 1.3 mm wide, apex sharply acute. Lip 3-lobed, 1.23 by 0.38 cm, with 3 keels; lateral lobes triangular, obtuse to subretuse; midlobe recurved, elliptic-ovate, 0.64 by 0.4 cm, acute. Column 0.15 cm long, stelidia obtuse, filament longer, subulate; column-foot 0.5 cm long. Anther 0.75 mm wide.
(after Smith, 1916).

Colours: Sepals and petals white, lip yellowish, below the midlobe with purple dots arranged in lines, on the base of the midlobe with dark purple spots.

Habitat: Epiphyte in lowland swamp forest, mangroves and coastal forest.

Flowering time in the wild: February-December. Flowers last 2 to 3 days (fide O'Byrne).

Distribution: New Guinea (endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Merauke Regency); Papua New Guinea (Gulf Province).

Notes: Diplocaulobium kirchianum is one of many relatives of Diplocaulobium chrysotropis; unlike the latter the lip is distinctly 3-lobed in D. kirchianum.

Cultivation: Warm growing epiphyte?.