Pholidota ventricosa

Pholidota ventricosa (Blume) Rchb.f., Bonplandia 5 (1857) 43

Basionym: Chelonanthera ventricosa

Plant 43-95 cm high. Roots along the entire rhizome, more than 16 cm by 1.5-3 mm. Rhizome creeping. Scales of the young shoot 8-14, rather loosely imbricate; smallest one 1-1.5 cm long, longest one 11.5-21 cm long; top acute; herbaceous; nerves 53-112, rather distinct, all more or less equal, soon disintegrating into stiff, long, thin, rather long persistent fibres. Pseudobulbs close together, turned to one side of the rhizome, rather slender to sometimes stunted, 4-14 cm long, when dried with a smooth surface and rather few coarse, sharp ridges, almost always with a specific ochrish to yellowish colour when dried. Petiole (4-)6-10(-24) cm by (2.5-)4-8 mm. Leaf blade lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, 21-62 by (2-)3.5-7.5(-9.5) cm; top acute; stiff (sub)coriaceous; main nerves 5, below very prominent, above much less so, small nerves 100-250, rather to very inconspicuous. Raceme synanthous with the usually less than about halfway to rarely almost entirely emerged young leaves, 30-80(-93)-flowered, flowering from base to the top. Scape erect, straight, irregularly longitudinally grooved, rather flattened, beyond the scales (4-)19-25(-30) cm long, 2-5 mm diam., in fruit not elongating. Rachis straight, erect, stiff, 10-27 cm long; internodes 2-6 mm long, the lowermost ones sometimes to 2.5 cm long, rather angular, above the insertion of the flower with a longitudinal depression. Sterile bracts absent, rarely one present. Floral bracts caducous at anthesis but sometimes still present during the early period of anthesis, ovate, (14-)18-30 by (8-)10-12 mm; top acute, sometimes obtuse; papyraceous; nerves 25-70; inside, especially at the base, with scattered, solitary, minute, uniseriate hairs. Flowers rather open, more or less irregularly resupinate, more or less turned to one side. Pedicel twisted, 4-7.5 by 0.4-1 mm. Ovary rather slender, in section about terete to triangular, angular by the ribs of which 3 are rarely wing-like, 3-6 by 0.8-2 mm. Median sepal more or less ovate to ovate-oblong, 6-11 by (1.2-)3-5.5 mm; top acute, sometimes obtuse; rarely the lateral margins and the top somewhat recurved; nerves 5-7, midrib a more or less pronounced rounded keel; usually inside at the base with few, scattered, minute, uniseriate, solitary or grouped and radiating hairs. Lateral sepals more or less elliptic to oblong, 6-11 by 3-5.5 mm; top acute; nerves 5(-7), midrib a rounded keel but occasionally less pronounced, rarely wing-like; usually inside hairy as the median sepal. Petals slightly asymmetric, more or less rolled backwards, oblong to ligulate to linear, 6-10 by (0.7-)l-4 mm; top truncate, obtuse or acute; nerves 3, midrib somewhat pronounced; inside at the base hairy as the median sepal. Lip rather narrowly inserted on the column, more or less S-shaped. Hypochile boat-shaped, narrowed at the base, 4-7 mm long, 2-4 mm wide in the back part, width over the front lobes (3.4-)5-9 mm, 1.2-2 mm high; margins recurved; in front on each side with a more or less horizontal to reflexed, about triangular to rounded lobe 1-3 by 1-2.5 mm with more or less rounded top and entire back margin, front margin usually irregularly undulating to serrate (sometimes this lobe almost absent); outside with a median longitudinal groove which appears inside as a rounded, somewhat elevated keel which extends to between the lateral keels at which place it is sometimes pronounced; in front on the junction of each lateral lobe and the saccate part with a more or less elongated, rather fleshy rim with an irregular margin, rarely these rims almost wanting or in the back and front part drawn out more or less triangularly. Epichile more or less recurved, two-lobed, 2-5.5 by 4-9 mm; lobes not overlapping, more or less semi-orbicular in outline, 2-4 by 2-5 mm. Column semi-orbicular, broadly spathulate to almost wedge-shaped in outline, 3.5-5 by 3.5-5.5 mm; hood large, and wide, thin, gradually narrowing to the base of the column, it's top broadly rounded, irregular, sometimes laterally with more or less pronounced, rounded to triangular lobes separated from the median part by sometimes deep incisions. Anther irregularly transversely elliptic to about orbicular, dorso-ventrally somewhat flattened, usually wider than high, 1-1.7 by 1.2-1.7 mm; top triangular, recurved, its tip truncate. Pollinia obliquely pear-shaped, 0.6-0.8 by 0.4-0.5 mm. Stigma with a more or less elliptic opening, 1-2 by 0.8-2 mm; rostellum more or less rectangular to rounded, 0.5-1.5 by 0.6-2 mm. Fruit and seeds not seen. (After de Vogel, 1988)

Colours: Flowers white, often tinged yellowish green or light green or cream-coloured, and then the lip and the column may be white.

Habitat: Epiphyte in lower montane forest; 450 to 1550 m.

Flowering time in the wild: February, September, October, November.

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

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea. See map: 547-109M.JPG.

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte, requires shaded position.