Saurolophorkis cordanthemon

Saurolophorkis cordanthemon Marg. & Szlach., Polish Bot. J. 46 (2001) 9

Type: Hunt 232 (holo K, spirit mat.), New Guinea, locality not recorded

Pseudobulbs oblong-ovate to conical, 3-6 cm long, 0.1-0.2 cm diam., covered by the leaf bases and a few cataphylls; 2- to 3-leaved. Leaves ovate to cordate, plicate, 9-10 by 4.0-6.5 cm; petiole very short. Inflorescence densely 10- to 20-flowered; peduncle 0.9-1 mm in diameter. Floral bracts lanceolate to oblong-triangular, 0.3-0.6 by 0.11-0.21 cm, acute, mid-vein prominent outside. Buds distinctly cordate. Median sepal broadly ovate, 0.68-0.70 by 0.55-0.60 cm, obtuse to rounded, 5-nerved. Lateral sepals connate nearly to the apex, forming a broadly ovate synsepal, 0.5 by 0.7 cm, 4- to 5-nerved, notched at the apex. Petals narrowly lanceolate, attenuate, 0.66-0.68 by 0.15-0.17 cm, apex acute to obtuse, slightly sinuate. Lip 0.4-0.42 by 0.37-0.38 cm; horseshoe-shaped in outline, midlobe with incurved margins, margin and outer surface papillose, mid-lobe separated from the lateral lobes by a shallow constriction and a distinct curvature; lateral lobes 0.27-0.28 cm long, 0.15-0.16 cm wide, nearly touching at the apex; cavity narrowly oblong, 1 mm long, deep, with a raised rim, at the base with a narrow and acute callus; basal auricles large, semiobovate, broadly rounded, usually clasping the column, margins entire. Column 0.14-0.16 by 0.1 cm, with finger-like apical arms and a fan-shaped, somewhat wavy dorsal projection, the latter 0.4-0.6 mm [‘4-6 mm’] long, at the base 0.4-0.5 mm [’4-5 mm’] wide, halfway about 0.7 mm [‘7 mm’] wide. Anther cordate to broadly ovate. (After Margonska & Szlachetko, 2001)

Colours: Leaves pale silvery green. Lateral sepals green, median sepal and petals pale brownish. Lip buff to yellow, callus dark green to blue-green. Column green, dark green to blue-green. Anther greenish yellow.

Habitat: Not recorded; 1600-2300 m.

Flowering time in the wild: July, October.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea; holotype locality not recorded, paratype locality cited by Margonska & Szlachetko as 'Nonchege', which we could not trace.

Cultivation: Intermediate to cool growing terrestrial.

Notes: We consider this to be a species of Malaxis, but to the best of our knowledge there is no name available under this genus. It is closely related to Microstylis bisepala, for which likewise we cannoy provide a name under Malaxis. Both species have connate lateral sepals, but otherwise appear to fit in section Pseudoliparis. They share the characteristic blue-green column with a dorsal appendage often found in that section. See also the images of a related, possibly undescribed species under the genus Malaxis in the higher taxa module.