Calanthe ventilabrum

Calanthe ventilabrum Rchb.f. in Seem., Fl. Vitiensis (1868) 298

Type: Seemann 606 (holo W, lost; drawing of holo AMES 42470; iso K)

A terrestrial herb up to 1 m tall. Stems pseudobulbous, hidden by the leaf bases. Leaves plicate, distichous, lanceolate, 40-100 by 5-9.5 cm; petiole up to 15 cm long. Inflorescence lateral, arising from the base of the pseudobulb, up to 55 cm long. Rachis 6-7 cm long, densely many-flowered. Floral bracts deciduous. Median sepal ovate, 1 by 0.6 cm. Lateral sepals ovate, 1 by 0.5-0.6 cm. Petals elliptic, 1-1.1 by 0.5-0.6 cm. Lip 3-lobed, 0.55-0.65 by 0.4-0.5 cm, the lateral lobes small, resembling auricles, the mid-lobe rounded and obtuse, basal callus consisting of 2 short, low fleshy ridges; spur clavate, parallel to ovary, 0.5-0.7 by 0.2 cm. Column 0.04 cm long. (After Lewis and Cribb, 1991).

Colours: Flowers yellow to orange.

Habitat: Epiphyte in montane forest in shaded positions. Altitude 914-2400 m.

Flowering time in the wild: January, February, April, May, June, July.

Distribution: Malesia (Moluccas, New Guinea), Solomon Is., Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Samoa.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea. See map: 101-369M.JPG

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte, keep in shade.

Note: Easily recognised by the uniformly yellow to orange flowers.