Bulbophyllum tarantula

Bulbophyllum tarantula Schuit. & de Vogel, J. Orchideenfreund 12 (2005) 371, fig., pl.

Type: Jongejan cult. 548 (leg. P. Jongejan, A. Schuiteman & A. de Wilde) 548 (holo L, spirit mat.), from Papua New Guinea, Morobe Prov., Bulldog track

Rhizome much elongated, pendulous, sparsely branching, covered with large overlapping sheaths; roots wiry, mostly appressed to the rhizome. Pseudobulbs 2-4 cm apart, cylindrical, slightly thickened towards the base, 2.5-3.8 by c. 0.4 cm, 1-leaved. Leaf cuneate at the base, narrowly ovate-elliptic, 9-10 by 2.1-2.6 cm, coriaceous, apex acute-acuminate. Inflorescences arising from rhizome, very short, 1-flowered. Peduncle c. 3 mm long, entirely covered with a few small scales. Floral bract tubular, c. 4 mm long, apex subacute, apiculate. Pedicel c. 3 mm long, ovary terete, weakly 6-ribbed, straight or somewhat curved, c. 12 mm long, glabrous. Flowers resupinated, c. 3 cm across. Sepals outside scattered furfuraceous. Median sepal ovate, 18.5 by 9.7 mm, apex acuminate, 7-veined, strongly concave. Lateral sepals free, obliquely ovate, 17 by 8 mm, apex acute, 7-veined, convex. Petals obliquely oblong, glabrous, with three apical appendages, 3.9 by 1.8 mm excluding the appendages, convex; appendages highly mobile, attached to a short very thin thread, about equal (in REEVE 694 with the lateral ones a little shorter), 9-15 mm long (12.4-15 mm in the type specimen), in the basal 2 mm (narrowly) ovoid, finely papillose, in the apical 6-13 mm narrowly subulate, up to the apex very densely covered with c. 1 mm long, patent hairs. Lip very fleshy, 5.3 by 1.9 mm, mobile, attached to the column-foot by a short, broadly strap-shaped ligament; on the underside in apical 2/3 with a median groove, in basal half almost spherical and there covered with long and narrow papillae; on upper side glabrous, concave, in basal half with erect margins, auriculate-rounded on either side at the base, channelled from the base to just below the apex, in the apical part in the channel with c. 7 pits and with a very short transverse groove on either side of some of the pits, apex narrowly triangular, acute-acuminate. Column 4.2 mm long, very thick, without stelidia; stigma relatively long, narrowly hemi-oblong; column-foot simple, 1.3 mm long. Anther helmet-shaped, in front with a short protruding rim, 1.3 by 1.2 mm, smooth and glabrous. Pollinia 4 in two pairs, obliquely rounded-quadrangular in lateral view, laterally flattened, those of a pair strongly unequal, the largest 0.9 mm long, the shortest 0.5 mm long. Fruit not seen. (After Schuiteman & de Vogel, 2005)

Colours: Sepals yellowish green densely covered with red-purple blotches. Petals creamy white with fine red-purple dots, appendages pale purple, the hairs whitish, but apical hairs purple (always?). Lip red purple, inside at the base yellowish green. Column pale yellowish green with red-purple dots. Anther yellowish green with some dark purple spots.

Habitat: Epiphyte in montane forest; on low branch in the shade; 2300-2400 m.

Flowering time in the wild: September.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea; see map 96-2226M.jpg.