Cadetia umbellata

Cadetia umbellata Gaudich. in Freyc., Voy. Uranie, Bot. (1826) 422, t. 33.

Type: Gaudichaud 26 (Rawak) (holo P, iso G).

Rhizome very short. Stems crowded, slender, gradually a little dilated towards the apex, 3-6.5 cm by 1.5-2 mm, 1-leaved. Leaves erect, lanceolate, 3-4.5 by 0.8-1 cm, carnose, apex obtuse, unequally bidentate. Inflorescences terminal from the leaf axil, 1-flowered; peduncle 0.4 cm long. Pedicel 0.4 cm long, sparsely reversely muriculate; ovary 0.2 cm long, densely covered with reverse spine-like papillae. Flower c. 0.7 cm across. Dorsal sepal oblong, 0.38 cm by 2 mm, apex acute. Lateral sepals obliquely subelliptic, the free part 0.34 cm by 3.3 mm, apex rounded; mentum 0.15 cm long, apex slightly retuse. Petals linear, 0.43 cm by 0.3 mm, apex obtuse. Lip clawed, 3-lobed, claw oblong, inside pubescent, ciliate, c. 0.26 cm long, blade 0.33 cm long, between the lateral lobes with a semilunate pubescent swelling; lateral lobes narrowly triangular, 0.4 mm long, acute; midlobe recurved, narrowly transversely oblong, 0.08 by 0.38 cm, carnose, with an obtuse apicule. Column 0.18 cm long, pubescent below the stigma, stelidia obliquely quadrangular-oblong, lacerate at apex.
(after Smith, 1916 - as Cadetia opacifolia).

Colours: Flower creamy white, midlobe of the lip yellowish, column purple at apex.

Habitat: Epiphyte in rainforest. Altitude 0-400 m.

Flowering time in the wild: Throughout the year.

Distribution: Java, Lesser Sunda Islands, Moluccas, Bismarck Archipelago, New Guinea.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Yapen Waropen, Merauke and Jayapura Regencies); Papua New Guinea (East New Britain Province, but undoubtedly also widespread in the mainland provinces).

Map: UMBELMAP.JPG [Cadetia umbellata Gaudich., distribution map.]

Notes: Cadetia umbellata is one of several species of Cadetia in which the ovary is covered with soft, thick, spine-like hairs or papillae. These species, comprising most of section Cadetia, are all very much alike in shape, size and colour, and more work is to be done to clarify their taxonomy. It seems likely that some of the names currently accepted as 'good' species will end up in the synonymy of C. umbellata. The latter is characterised by the very broad, but quite short, midlobe of the lip.

Cultivation: Warm growing epiphyte.