Bulbophyllum bulliferum

Bulbophyllum bulliferum J.J.Sm., Bull. Dép. Agric. Indes Néerl. 19 (1908) 5

Type: Versteeg 1449 (holo BO)

Rhizome creeping, 0.75-2 mm diam. Roots spreading. Pseudobulbs orbicular to ovoid, 1-4 cm apart, 0.17-0.4 by 0.15-0.3 cm, not laterally flattened. Petiole 1-9 mm. Leaf blade elliptic, 1.3-7 by 0.8-2.2 cm, index 1.5-6, tip rounded to obtuse. Inflorescence usually single, 2.3-20 cm, up to 35-flowered. Peduncle 2-15 cm, approx. glabrous to verrucose; bracts 4-6, the longest 3-4 mm. Rachis erect to arching, often distinctly zigzag bent, up to 5 cm, surface as peduncle. Floral bracts triangular, 1-4 mm, tip acute to acuminate, abx. with a distinct median keel, surface glabrous to papillose. Pedicel and ovary 3-6 mm, with the node 0.8-2.5 mm from the floral bract. Flowers scattered, 1 or a few open at the time, moderately opening. Median sepal ovate to elliptic, 3-6 by 1.4-2.8 mm, index 1.6-4.2, tip a straight to incurved, subulate projection c. 0.4-1 mm long, ending in a thickened, often papillose knob; margins ciliate; thin; surface glabrous; abx. usually with an inconspicuous to distinct, erose median keel. Lateral sepals oblique, 3-4.5 by 1.7-2.2 mm, index 1.6-2.2, tip an upwards, inwards or downwards curved projection 0.4-1 mm long; upper margin erose, papillose or sparsely ciliate, lower ciliate; otherwise as the median sepal. Petals (ob)ovate to elliptic 1-2 by 0.4-0.8 mm, index 2-4, tip retuse to acute, or mucronate; margins denticulate; very thin; surface glabrous. Lip 3-lobed, median lobe straight or slightly curved, general outline approx. (ob)ovate, elliptic or rectangular, 2-2.5 by 0.7-1.2 mm, index 2-3 (not spread), tip retuse to obtuse; margins glabrous, papillose to almost shortly ciliolate; rather thick; surface glabrous to partly or entirely papillose; adx. concave and with 3 parallel, short ridges near the base, which in front approx. end (often the median inconspicuously continues and protrudes again near the tip of the lip) into a median slit bordered by 2 more ridges which in front converge (and, half-way the lip, are often fused along their crests, thus overtopping the median ridge) and in the back protrude as lobes; abx. without or with an inconspicuous median ridge, with a tuft of very distinct, elongate vesicles near its base; basal lobes with the frontal margins converging over the adaxial surface of the lip; triangular to semi-elliptic, tip rounded to acute; margins erose or papillose; thin; surface glabrous to finely papillose. Column from ovary to the tip of the rostellum 0.5-0.7 mm; stigma protruding at its base, obovate; column-foot with a distinct, approx. acute central tooth close to the attachment of the lip. Stelidia absent or inconspicuous; if present triangular, tip subacute, upper as well as lower margin glabrous to erose-denticulate, with or without an inconspicuous to a distinct, forwards projecting, triangular, obtuse to acute tooth along each lower margin (or, if stelidia absent, along each lower margin of the column). Anther abx. with a ridge towards its base; front margin not protruding. (After Vermeulen, 1993)

Colours: Sepals brown-red to dark red, sometimes greenish towards the tip; subulate projections often blackish. Median sepal sometimes white.

Habitat: Epiphyte in lowland forest; 0-2250 m.

Flowering time in the wild: April, June, September.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea), Solomon Islands.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea; see map 96-259M.jpg.

Cultivation: Warm growing epiphyte.