Spathoglottis papuana

Spathoglottis papuana F.M.Bailey, Queensland Agric. J. 3 (1898) 159 [p. 6 on reprint]

Type: Bailey s.n. (New Guinea, Porlock Bay) (holo BRI; iso BRI 2x)

Rhizome short. Pseudobulbs clustered, 3-6-leaved, ovoid to conical, internodes few, in the apical part short, covered with thin papery remains of the leaf-sheaths. Leaves petiolate; petiole 5-12 cm long; blade lanceolate, 30-45 by 2.5 cm, apex acuminate. Inflorescences racemose, erect, slender, 25-45 cm long; peduncle 20.7-30.5 cm long, 0.08-0.2 cm diam., glabrous, peduncle-scales c. 3, tubular; rachis much shorter than peduncle, glabrous, with few flowers opening at a time. Floral bracts ovate, 0.7-1.1 by 0.4-0.58 cm, apex acute to acuminate, glabrous. Ovary slender, glabrous or with a few scattered small hairs. Flowers to 3.8 cm wide. Median sepal oblong-ovate, 1.7-2.2 by 0.8-0.9 cm, glabrous, sometimes outside with prominent mid-rib. Lateral sepals oblong, 1.7-2.1 by 0.7-0.8 cm, glabrous, outside keeled towards the apex, apex acute. Petals oblong to oblong-ovate, 1.7-2 by 1-1.1 cm, glabrous, apex rounded or acute. Lip 3-lobed, 1.4-1.7 by 1.3-1.7 cm wide between tips of lateral lobes when flattened; callus bilobed, with obscurely triangular or rounded lobes, 0.2-0.28 cm tall, 0.26-0.38 cm wide, with a few glandular hairs at the top, laterally at base also with few hairs or glabrous; lateral lobes when flattened making an 88 to 121 degrees angle with the mid-lobe, oblong to falcate-cuneate, 0.6-0.8 by 0.25-0.43 cm, apex subtruncate; claw of mid-lobe 0.38-0.58 cm long, 0.1-0.15 cm wide, with or without an indistinct knee-like swelling, with small lobules on either side of the bilobed callus; terminal lobule broadly obcordate to obtriangular, 0.5-0.76 cm wide. Column distinctly curved, 1.3-1.6 cm long. Anther cucullate, slightly umbonate. Fruit cylindrical, 2-3 by 0.8-1 cm. (After Howcroft, 1992).

Colours: Flower white to magenta or dark purple; lateral lobes of lip pinkish or salmon to dark purple, callus white or yellow, with or without pink or red spots. Floral bracts similar in colour to sepals and petals, with green apex.

Habitat: Terrestrial in lowland and montane forest, riverbanks, also among grass and rocks in savanna; 0 to 1960 m.

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

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 652-44M.JPG.

Cultivation: Warm growing terrestrial, requires light to shaded position.

Note: Not easy to distinguish from Spathoglottis plicata, differs mainly in the thinner peduncle (at most 3 mm diameter according to Howcroft), the smaller floral bracts, and the not tomentose but glabrous or sparsely hairy ovary.