Pholidota imbricata

Pholidota imbricata Hook., Exot. Fl. 2 (1825) t. 138

Type: Kew cult. (Wallich) s.n. (1824) (Nepal) (prob. no herbarium); lecto: the drawing and description in Exotic Fl. (1825) 138, chosen by Seidenfaden, 1986

Plant 10-66 cm high. Roots to more than 25 cm by 0.5-2 mm. Pseudobulb scales 3-6; longest one 3.5-13 cm long; top acute; herbaceous; nerves many, (rather) conspicuous. Pseudobulbs close together, usually sturdy and rather swollen, in section rather angular with rounded corners, 2-11 cm long, when dried longitudinally wrinkled. Petiole 0.5-9 by 1.5-6 mm. Leaf blade oblong or obovate-oblong to linear-lanceolate, usually widest above the middle, 17-52 by 1.6-9 cm; top acute (to acuminate); adult ones more or less thick coriaceous; main nerves 3-5, above somewhat prominent, below much more so, small nerves many, in the fresh leaf inconspicuous. Raceme synanthous with the usually almost entirely developed young (and still thin) leaf, rarely the leaf just emerging, 14-126-flowered. Scape wiry, terete, beyond the scales 2-46 cm long, 0.5-3 mm diam., in fruit more or less distinctly elongating. Rachis 5-41 cm long; internodes 2-5 mm long. Sterile bracts (2-)3-9(-17), appressed, like the floral bracts, usually narrower. Floral bracts patent, when flattened ovate to broadly ovate, (4-)5.5-12(-15) by (5-)6-10(-13) mm; top acute, sometimes obtuse, tip sometimes acute; membranous to papyraceous to pergamentaceous; inside and outside partly to entirely covered with scattered (groups of) minute hairs which are often covered with dried mucilage, giving the impression of brown scales or spots; nerves many, fine, parallel, close together, hardly prominent. Flowers not resupinate, distichous but often more or less pointing sideways. Pedicel terete to more or less angular by 3 ribs, 2-5 by 0.3-1 mm. Ovary more or less distinctly angular on section, (1.5-)2-3(-3.5) by (0.5-)1-1.8 mm. Median sepal forming a hood with the petals, ovate, (3.6-)5-6(-7) by (2.2-)3-4(-5) mm; top obtuse to acute, tip rarely retuse or acuminate; nerves (3-)5(-7), sometimes the lateral ones branched, midrib more or less prominent to a low rounded keel. Lateral sepals (ovate to) ovate-oblong, (4-)5-7(-8) by (2-)2.5-3.5(-4) mm; top acute; nerves (3-)4-5(-6), lateral ones sometimes branched, midrib a distinct wing-like keel 0.5-1(-1.3) mm high. Petals more or less distinctly falcate, (4-)4.5-6(-7) by (0.9-)1.3-2.2(-2.8) mm; top acute, its tip rarely truncate or rounded; nerves 1(-3), midrib somewhat prominent. Lip broadly inserted. Hypochile more or less deeply concave, 2-4.5 mm long, 1.8-4(-5) mm high including the lateral lobes, 2-4(-4.5) mm wide; lateral lobes erect, triangular to almost semi-orbicular, (1-)1.5-2.5(-3) by (1-)1.5-2.5(-3) mm, the top broadly rounded; nerves 5-7, the central 3 in the back elevated into short, rather high and wing-like keels with swollen margins of which the lateral ones are higher and longer than the central one which rarely is almost absent, lateral nerves almost always branched. Epichile two-lobed, deeply and widely retuse in front, (2-)3-4(-5) by (3-)4-6(-7) mm when flattened; lateral lobes in outline semi-elliptic to semi-orbicular, (1-)2-2.5(-3) by (1-)2-3.5(-4) mm when flattened; top rounded, sometimes acute. Column short, in front view irregularly orbicular to ovate, more or less clearly constricted in the upper half, (2.2-)2.5-3.5(-4) by (2-)2.5-3.5(-4) mm. Anther irregularly orbicular to transversely elliptic in outline, 1-1.3 by 1-2.3 mm; top and base truncate to slightly retuse. Pollinia 0.6-1 by (0.3-)0.5-0.7 mm. Stigma semi-orbicular in outline, shallow, 1-1.5 by (1.3-)1.5-2(-2.5) mm; rostellum a more or less swollen, undulating to more or less straight rim. Fruit ellipsoid, on top the perianth or at least the column persistent; body 9-16(-19) by 6-9 mm. Seeds fusiform, to 0.5 mm long; embryo ellipsoid, to 0.3 mm long. (After de Vogel, 1988)

Colours: Flowers usually pale yellowish, lip often with two yellow spots on the junction of the hypochile and the epichile, basal keels orange. Anther red-brown.

Habitat: Epiphyte in lowland and montane forest, also on limestone cliffs and in secondary regrowth, in sun and shade; 0 to 2700 m.

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

Distribution: Malesia (Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Sulawesi, Lesser Sunda Islands, Moluccas, New Guinea, Philippines), India to China, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Australia, Solomon Is, New Caledonia, east to Tahiti.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea. See map: 547-50M.JPG.

Cultivation: Warm growing epiphyte.