Agrostophyllum ventricosum

Agrostophyllum ventricosum J.J.Sm., Nova Guinea 18 (1935) 28, pl. 6, 15

Type: Docters van Leeuwen 10883 (holo L; iso BO, L)

Stems crowded, elongated, rather thin, laterally compressed, linear, 28-35 cm long, when dried 0.4 cm wide; sheaths several, increasing in size upwards, conduplicate, overlapping, narrowed towards the apex, in the basal part with brown membranous margins. Roots rather thick, villose. Leaves 6-8, erect-patent, the upper ones larger, linear, at the base conduplicate, midrib dorsally prominent, papyraceous, up to 17-27 cm long, 0.63-0.8 cm wide, apex more or less unequally deeply bidentate, teeth obliquely triangular to subulate-triangular falcate, in between with a very short incurved tooth; sheaths elongated, tubular, compressed, above in front torn open and with black margins, apex oblique, wavy at the base, broader than the blade, on either side produced into a conspicuous, obliquely triangular tooth. Inflorescence almost head-like, somewhat nodding, secund, densely many-flowered, 1.75-2 cm diam., subtended by small upper leaves, basal sheaths soon decaying, dissolving into fibers. Individual racemes very short, 1-flowered, peduncle with a few tubular, apically dilated, overlapping, obtuse to acute, apiculate (bracts) scales. Median sepal broadly ovate, obtuse, very minutely apiculate, concave, 3-nerved, 0.46 cm long, 0.33 cm wide. Lateral sepals at the base shortly saccate-connate, the sac clasping the lip, obliquely triangular, apex conduplicate-acuminate, acute, 3-nerved, midrib towards the apex dorsally prominent, concave, 0.5 cm long, along the front margins 0.77 cm long, at the base 0.43 cm wide; mentum rather conspicuous, pointing backwards, appressed to the ovary, dorsally compressed, in lateral view conical, rounded in front, open, 0.26 cm long. Petals obliquely oblong, somewhat falcate, obtuse, concave, 3-nerved, 0.46 cm long, 0.18 cm wide. Lip appressed to the column, in the middle rounded-obtusely incurved, concave, ventricose below, at the base saccate, 3-lobed, spur dorsally compressed, rounded, when flattened spathulate, 0.8 cm long; lateral lobes erect, short, angular-orbicular, inside connected by a conspicuous, much longer, horizontal, porrect, oblong-quadrangular lamella which is appressed to the column, apex of the lamella bidentate with a rounded sinus; mid-lobe much larger, somewhat surpassing the column, incurved, apex somewhat recurved, concave, trilobulate, in outline shortly ovate-triangular, margin irregular, 0.36 cm long, 0.45 cm wide, lateral lobules broadly obliquely rounded, median lobule about semiorbicular, sometimes retuse, 0.1 cm long, 0.2 cm wide. Column short, straight, on either side of the stigma part with a widely patent, carnose, obliquely triangular, obtuse lobule, at the base in front strongly rounded-ventricose-thickened, with a longitudinal channel decurrent on the column-foot, without anther 0.25 cm long, column-foot pointing backwards, appressed to the ovary, quadrangular 0.5 cm long, 0.25 cm wide, clinandrium deeply hollow, subpyriform, truncate. Rostellum short, bidentate. Stigma deeply saccate, 5-angular, lower margin produced into a large, fleshy, porrect, transverse, rounded appendage which is convex on underside, concave below the stigma. Ovary terete, 3-grooved, apex strongly oblique, at the base shortly narrowed, 0.8 cm long. Fruit fusiform, 1.2 cm long. (After Smith, 1935)

Colours: Flower white.

Habitat: Epiphyte in upper montane forest. Altitude 2073-2987 m.

Flowering time in the wild: June, October.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea. See map: 24-110M.JPG

Cultivation: Cool growing epiphyte.