Diplocaulobium opilionites

Diplocaulobium opilionites (Schltr.) A.D.Hawkes, Orchid Digest 27 (1963) 251.

Basionym: Dendrobium opilionites.

Rhizome short. Pseudobulbs crowded, 1-leaved, very slender, obclavate-thickened at the base, 13-18 cm long, at base c. 0.4 cm wide, in upper part c. 0.15 cm wide. Leaves erect, straight, narrowly linear, 11-18 by 0.2-0.3 cm, apex obliquely subacute, rigid, margins slightly incurved (only in dried specimens?). Inflorescences 1-flowered. Pedicel and ovary 3 cm long, subclavate, slender, glabrous. Flower c. 7 cm across. Dorsal sepal at the base lanceolate, narrowing to the elongated apex, 3.5 cm long. Lateral sepals at the base widened, narrowing to the elongated apex, 3.5 cm long, mentum semioblongoid, 0.5 cm long, obtuse. Petals at the base obliquely linear, narrowing to the elongated apex, a little shorter than the sepals. Lip weakly 3-lobed, pandurate in outline, 1.2 by 0.4 cm, in the narrowest part 0.25 cm wide, margins in basal half undulate, with two lightly curved keels extending from the base to beyond the middle, the keels slightly widened towards the apex, abruptly truncate in front; in the centre of the midlobe with a soft narrowly elliptic mealy-tomentose callus; midlobe obtuse. Column short; column-foot 0.5 cm long.
(after Schlechter, 1923).

Colours: Sepals and petals carmine-red, lip white suffused with brown.

Habitat: Epiphyte in lower montane forest. Altitude 1400-1500 m.

Flowering time in the wild: August.

Distribution: New Guinea (endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea (East Sepik Province: Hunstein Mountains).

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte.