Cleisostoma firmulum

Cleisostoma firmulum Rchb.f., Bot. Centralbl. 28 (1886) 344

Type: Beccari s.n. (holo FI)

Stems hanging down, rooting, branching, flexuose, 45 cm long, internodes 2-3 cm long. Leaves patent, linear, 10-15 by 0.7-0.9 cm, at the apex obliquely obtuse and minute crenulate-erose or conduplicate-acute, often laterally compressed-mucronate, mid-vein grooved above, convex below; leaf-sheathes slightly surpassing the internodes, tubular, longitudinally and transversely rugose. Inflorescences perforating the sheaths in the basal part, solitary or two next to each other, widely patent, sparsely branched, laxly many-flowered, 12-20 cm long, peduncle 3.5-6 cm long, with a few rather large, 0.4-0.65 cm long scales, rachis flexuose, angular. Floral bracts appressed, triangular, very sharply acuminate, concave, 0.15-0.2 cm long. Flowers 0.7 cm across, sepals and petals widely patent. Median sepal erect, broadly oblong, acute, concave, 3-nerved, 0.37 cm long, almost 0.2 cm wide. Lateral sepals divergent, recurved, obliquely elliptic, 0.4 by 0.2 cm, slightly falcate, acute, mid-vein outside towards the apex thickened. Petals narrowly oblong, above the base slightly constricted, obtuse, convex, 1-nerved, 0.35 by 0.1 cm. Lip adnate to the base of the column-foot, distant from the column, spurred, 3-lobed, 0.57 cm long; spur parallel with the ovary, pointing backward, conical, obtuse, inside without septum, in front with a transverse, erect, retuse lamella, at the back in the throat with a carnose callus having on either side an acute horn-like process, 0.25 cm long; lateral lobes parallel, porrect, vertical, oblong-triangular, at the apex obtuse and slightly incurved, 0.25 cm long, at the base 0.15 cm wide; mid-lobe porrect, straight, longer than the lateral lobes, triangular, truncate, channelled above, 0.3 cm long. Column rather long, truncate, at the base prolonged, 0.2 cm long. Anther transversely elliptic, 2-celled, triangular-acuminate. Pollinia 4, semiglobose, united into two globose bodies, stipe linear, viscidium elliptic. Rostellum minute. Stigma very small. Ovary with pedicel 6-grooved, 0.5 cm long. (After Smith, 1909, as Sarcanthus bicornis J.J.Sm.).

Colours: Sepals and petals pure white with two longitudinal pale violet stripes. Lip white, mid-lobe and frontal half of the lateral lobes violet, spur white. Column and anther white, pollinia yellow, stipe white.

Habitat: Epiphyte in lowland and hill forest in exposed positions. Altitude 200-1100 m.

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

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea), ?Solomon Islands.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea. See map: 155-83M.JPG

Cultivation: Warm to intermediate growing epiphyte, keep in light position.