Flickingeria convexa

Flickingeria convexa (Blume) A.D.Hawkes, Orchid Weekly 2 (1961) 454.

Basionym: Desmotrichum convexum.

Roots 1-5 cm long, c. 1 mm thick, smooth, white, not branching, very brittle. Rhizome extensive, creeping and arching, frequently branching, cylindrical, 2-3 mm thick, very brittle, internodes 7-12 mm long. Stems 3-15 cm apart, erect, 2-3 noded, 1-leaved, the upper node forming a pseudobulb, basal part 0.9-1.4 cm long, 2 mm thick, pseudobulb oblongoid to narrowly ellipsoid, 1.8-4.5 cm by 3-7 mm, bilaterally compressed. Leaf erect, oblong, 5-8 by 1.2-1.8 cm, stiff, rather thick, margins often decurved, apex subacute, minutely pointed, entire. Inflorescence 1-flowered, from a 4-5 mm deltoid scale behind and to side of leaf axil. Pedicel and ovary c 6 mm long, conical, decurved. Flower ephemeral, c. 12 mm high. Dorsal sepal ovate, subacute, 0.6 cm long, convex, margins recurved. Lateral sepals 1.1 cm long, lower half forming a large conical mentum, upper half ovate, c. 0.5 cm by 5 mm, strongly recurved, apiculate. Petals obliquely spreading, convex with recurved margins, oblong, c. 0.55 cm long. Lip 3-lobed, decurving on midlobe, 1.25 cm by 4.5 mm; sidelobes spreading to erect, triangular with rectangular free apex, thin; midlobe thick and fleshy, in 2 distinct sections: basal section rectangular, 3 mm long, rough-textured; apical section divided into two oval 3 by 1 mm lobes, texture stippled; disc with 3 large keels; outer ones flat-topped, becoming dilated and very thick and fleshy towards their acute apices, terminating on the centre of the midlobe base; central keel slightly shorter, shallower, narrower and round-topped. Column very short, c. 1 mm long, apex 2-toothed on each side, column-foot long and narrow.
(after O'Byrne, 1994).

Colours: Sepals greenish-yellow, petals white; lip off-white with a bright yellow midlobe, disc red, lateral keels red, central keel yellow.

Habitat: Epiphyte on trees in mangrove and sago swamps, also in hill forest. Altitude 0 to 600 m.

Flowering time in the wild: Flowering probably throughout the year, triggered by a temperature drop caused by a rain storm. The ephemeral flowers take 9 days to develop and last a few hours (all fide O'Byrne).

Distribution: Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, New Guinea, Australia, Solomon Islands.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea (Gulf and Central Provinces).

Map: CONVXMAP.JPG [Flickingeria convexa (Blume) A.D.Hawkes, distribution map.]

Notes: Flickingeria convexa is among the few species of this genus in which the rhizome is creeping instead of erect and shrubby. As such it is easily distinguished by the deeply bilobed lip.

Cultivation: Warm growing epiphyte, requires light shade. Because of its long creeping rhizome best mounted on a slab of cork or tree fern.