Agrostophyllum elongatum

Agrostophyllum elongatum (Ridl.) Schuit., Blumea 35 (1990) 165

Basionym: Appendicula elongata

Rhizome elongated, occasionally rather short. Stems either or (more frequently) not branching, 0.5-7 cm apart, slightly compressed, suberect to pendulous, (20-)30-120 cm long, 0.35-0.6 cm wide across the sheaths. Leaves broadly oblong to linear-oblong, (0.8-)1-2.3(-3.5) by 0.4-1.1 cm, slightly narrowing towards the apex; distance between successive leaves on the same side of the stem 0.5-1.3 cm, sheaths entire to deeply slit, without appendages, rarely with two short triangular teeth pointing horizontally away from the stem-axis. Capitulum few- to many-flowered. Pedicel and ovary 0.35-0.52 cm long. Median sepal broadly ovate, 0.35 by 0.22 cm, subacute. Lateral sepals obliquely broadly ovate, 0.33 by 0.3 cm, abruptly acuminate. Petals obtuse to subacute, 0.3 by 0.1-0.13 cm. Lip concave at the base, with the lateral margins not adnate to the column-foot, 0.3-0.35 cm long; hypochile 0.17-0.2 cm long, 0.15-0.17 cm wide in the centre (not flattened), lobes triangular-ovate, 0.06-0.08 cm long, with a median keel in basal half, no callus between the lobes; epichile suborbicular to transversely elliptic, 0.14-0.17 by 0.16-0.18 cm (not flattened), broadly rounded, mucronate, more or less conspicuously papillose. Column 0.15-0.17 cm long, foot 0.04-0.08 cm long, stelidia truncate, rostellum bidentate. Fruit ellipsoid, obscurely triangular in cross section, c. 0.7 by 0.25 cm. (After Schuiteman, 1997).

Colours: Sepals cream colour to light ochre yellow. Petals and lip white or yellowish cream colour. Column pale green or cream colour. Margin of stigma and stelidia dark purple. Anther cream colour.

Habitat: Epiphyte in lowland forest in shaded positions. Altitude 60-1000 m.

Flowering time in the wild: January, March, April, May, July, September, December.

Distribution: Malesia (Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Sulawesi, Moluccas, New Guinea, The Philippines), Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Carolines.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea. See map: 24-38M.JPG

Cultivation: Warm growing epiphyte, keep in shade.

Note: Easily recognised by the numerous very small leaves that are abruptly narrowed at the base. In this last detail it differs from Agrostophyllum appendiculoides and allied species, which are superficially similar. These species also have a more complex flower structure than A. elongatum.