Grammatophyllum pantherinum

Grammatophyllum pantherinum Rchb.f., Gard. Chron. (1878, I) 788

Type: Williams cult. (Goldie) s.n. (New Guinea)

Stems stout, elongated, densely leafy, 2 m long, internodes 2 cm long. Leaves strap-shaped, acute, midrib prominent below, coriaceous, 50 cm long, 2.3-2.6 cm wide; sheaths 4-4-5 cm long. Inflorescence stout, many-flowered, 2 m long. Floral bracts triangular, obtuse, concave, 1.75-2 cm long. Flowers large, carnose, 9 cm wide, sweetly scented. Median sepal oblong, broadly obtuse, undulate, minutely crenulate-crisped, 4.8 cm long, 2.2 cm wide. Lateral sepals obliquely obovate-oblong, broadly obtuse, undulate, minutely crenulate-crisped, 4.8 cm long, 2.45 cm wide. Petals oblong-obovate, rounded, at the base narrowed, undulate, 4.8 cm long, 2.75 cm wide. Lip very shortly clawed, elastically attached to the front margin of the basal concavity of the column, small, when flattened 1.8 cm long, in the middle 1.65 cm, near the apices of the lateral lobes 2.45 cm wide, 3-lobed, at the broad base on either side rounded, inside with 3 closely spaced keels that are broadly obtusely raised in the middle of the lip and vanish towards the base and apex, glabrous, on either side of the keels sparsely pubescent, 17-nerved, nerves inside prominent; lateral lobes erect, incurved, at the base obliquely triangular sublinear-acuminate, narrowly obtuse, convex; mid-lobe recurved, triangular, obtuse, convex, 0.7 cm long, at the base 0.75 cm wide. Column (of a fertilised flower) robust, 1.65 cm long, curved, concave below, dorsally convex, apex incurved, margins at the base dilated, parallel and with the claw of the lip forming a fleshy, truncate, 0.45 cm long tube. Anther cucullate, 0.43 cm wide. Ovary obtusely triangular, 6-grooved, 5.5 cm long (fertilised); pedicel 6 cm long. (After Smith, 1911, as Grammatophyllum papuanum J.J.Sm.)

Colours: Flower light brownish yellow with numerous irregular deep red-brown spots, lip yellow with brown margins and longitudinal stripes, column light pinkish violet with light brownish red spots.

Habitat: Epiphyte. Altitude 0-1200 m.

Flowering time in the wild: June, October.

Distribution: Malesia (Moluccas, New Guinea).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea. See map: 336-17M.JPG

Cultivation: Warm growing epiphyte.

Note: The largest orchid in New Guinea. It is very similar to the well known Grammatophyllum speciosum Blume from western Malesia and is often considered a synonym. A careful study based on material from many localities is needed to decide the issue.