Lepidogyne longifolia

Lepidogyne longifolia (Blume) Blume, Fl. Javae, n.s., 1 (1858) 78, pl. 25 A; Coll. Orchid. (1858) 93. t. 25

Basionym: Neottia longifolia

Terrestrial, erect, stout, up to 2 m high. Rhizome short, stem-like, Roots flexuose, villose, cylindrical. Stem densely leafy below the middle, at the base 1.5-2 cm diam., terete, glabrous, in the upper part with lanceolate, acuminate sheaths that gradually pass into bracts, towards the rachis glandulose-puberulous. Leaves 8-15, erect-patent, narrowly lanceolate-ligulate, acute or sharply acute, somewhat narrowed towards the base, up to 50 cm long, near the middle up to 5.5 cm wide. Rachis to 75 cm long, c. 4 cm diam. across the flowers, cylindrical, densely many-flowered, elongated. Floral bracts erect-patent, lanceolate, acuminate, margins finely ciliate, the lower ones more than twice surpassing the flowers, the upper ones gradually a little shorter. Flowers erect-patent or suberect. Median sepal oblong-ligulate, obtuse, outside glandulose-puberulous, 0.8 cm long. Lateral sepals obliquely ovate, narrowed towards the apex, subobtuse, glandulose-puberulous, 0.8 cm long. Petals about as long as the median sepal, along their inner margin cohering with the median sepal, at the base shortly clawed, obliquely ovate-rhombic, subobtuse apiculate, outside for half its length sparsely papillose-puberulous, upper half of the front margin slightly undulate, glabrous. Lip at the base cucullate-globose, inside with 6 papillae, gradually narrowed towards the apex, at the apex elongated into a linear, obtuse, decurved lobed, below the middle on either side with a tooth-like obtuse auricle, 0.7 cm long, above the base (not flattened) 0.4 cm wide. Column erect, short, glabrous, in front with two somewhat carnose lamellae with their apices slightly incurved above the stigma; rostellum ovate-lanceolate, bifid to above the middle; margins of the stigma thickened in front. Anther lanceolate-cucullate, acute, long cordate. Ovary cylindrical, densely glandulose-puberulous with short reflexed hairs, c. 1.2 cm long. (After Schlechter, 1911-1914, as Lepidogyne sceptrum Schltr.)

Colours: Leaves green. Rachis, floral bracts and sepals brownish orange-red, petals rose-red, lip whitish.

Habitat: Terrestrial in primary and secondary lowland, hill and lower montane forest; 100 to 1350 m.

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

Distribution: Malesia (Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, New Guinea, Philippines).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea. See map: 403-1M.JPG.

Cultivation: Intermediate growing terrestrial, requires shaded position.

Notes: Most New Guinea specimens of this widespread, spectacular species are more brightly coloured than those found further to the West, but do not appear to differ significantly in other respects.