Cadetia goliathensis

Cadetia goliathensis (J.J.Sm.) Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 1 (1912) 424.

Basionym: Dendrobium goliathense.

Roots to more than 25 cm long, 1.5-2 mm diameter. Rhizome creeping, branching, up to at least 12 cm long. Pseudobulbs crowded, cylindrical to narrowly fusiform, obscurely 4-8-ribbed, the ribs more pronounced in dried specimens, 2-3.7 cm long, 3-4.5 mm diameter. Leaf oblong, index 3.3-8.5, 2.3-6 cm by 7-9 mm, base cuneate, apex obtuse, minutely bilobulate, mucronate, mucro shorter than the lobules. Inflorescences terminal from the leaf axil and subterminal just below the abaxial side of the leaf; solitary, rarely 2 in succession from the same position, at the base with a 5-9 mm long tubular sheath, spathe 4-7 mm long. Peduncle 7-13 mm long. Ovary and pedicel 2.5-3.7 cm long, 3-winged, glabrous. Flower c. 1.3 cm wide. Median sepal patent to reflexed, ovate, 7.3-7.7 by 3.9-4.4 mm, obtuse, 5-nerved. Lateral sepals patent, broadly ovate, 6.4-7.9 by 4.8-5.4 mm, obtuse, 5-nerved; mentum narrowly cylindrical, narrowed to the apex, straight, c. 10.5-16 mm long, fused along entire length, apex obtuse. Petals porrect, broadly ovate, 5.2-5.5 by 4.0-4.6 mm, entire, obtuse, apex more or less reflexed, 3-nerved. Lip spathulate, 3-lobed, pubescent on basal half of callus and on base of midlobe; hypochile 13.2-13.8 mm long, of which c. 10-15 mm fused with the column foot, 6.0-6.4 mm wide across the lateral lobes; lateral lobes broadly oblong, 2.9-3.4 by 1.8-2.1 mm, erect, entire, apex rounded; midlobe broadly obcordate, 4.3-6.0 by 5.3-6.8 mm, fleshy, margin slightly irregular, apex emarginate, with an obtuse mucro in the sinus; callus oblong, extending and gradually narrowing from the base of the midlobe to the apex. Column c. 2 mm long, glabrous, wings broadly subtriangular, rounded; clinandrium entire, with a narrowly triangular median tooth, margin sparsely pubescent; foot 10.5-16 mm long. Anther cucullate, base bilobate, apex truncate, c. 1 by 1 mm, pubescent along apical margin; pollinia 0.9 mm long. Fruit ovoid, c. 20 by 11 mm, 3-winged.

Colours: Leaves light to dark green above, light green below, more or less glossy. Pseudobulbs light yellowish green. Flower white or usually creamy white, lip often greenish. Pollinia yellow.

Habitat: Epiphyte in subalpine Nothofagus forest and in Podocarpus-Phyllocladus woodland. Altitude 2800 to 3800 m.

Flowering time in the wild: April, May, July, September, December.

Distribution: New Guinea (endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Jaya Wijaya Regency), Papua New Guinea (Sandaun and East Sepik Provinces).

Map: GOLIAMAP.JPG [Cadetia goliathensis (J.J.Sm.) Schltr., distribution map.]

Notes: Cadetia goliathensis is a characteristic subalpine species, which may be recognized by the combination of a spur-like mentum at least 1 cm long and a broadly obcordate midlobe to the lip. It is apparently restricted to the western part of New Guinea, having its easternmost station in the Victor Emanuel Mountains in Papua New Guinea.

According to J.J. Smith the pseudobulbs in this species consist of a few internodes, but in all specimens that we have seen the pseudobulbs only had a single internode, as in all other species of Cadetia.

Cultivation: Cool growing epiphyte, probably very difficult to keep in cultivation (like Dendrobium brevicaule and other species from similar high altitudes).