Flickingeria rhipidoloba

Flickingeria rhipidoloba (Schltr.) A.D.Hawkes, Orchid Weekly 2 (1961) 458.

Basionym: Dendrobium rhipidolobum.

Rhizome to 50 cm, pendulous, branching, stem-like, yellowish, roots elongated, filiform, flexuose, glabrous. Pseudobulbs widely spaced, 1-leaved, cylindrical, angled, 5-7 by 0.6-0.8 cm, rugose. Leaves oblong-ligulate, 9-15 by 2-3.5 cm, apex subacute, minutely bilobulate, coriaceous. Inflorescences arising from the apex of the pseudobulb, 1-flowered. Pedicel and ovary 0.8 cm long, glabrous. Flower 1.5-2 cm wide, ephemeral, fragrant. Dorsal sepal lanceolate to oblong, 0.9-1.1 cm long, apex acute to acuminate. Lateral sepals lanceolate, widened at the base, 0.9-1.1 cm by 6.3-7.3 mm (at the base), apex acute; mentum 0.4-0.5 cm long, obtuse. Petals obliquely linear-lanceolate to rhombic lanceolate, 0.87-1 by 2-3.5 mm, apex acute. Lip 3-lobed below the middle, 1.2-1.4 by 0.53-0.8 cm (across the lateral lobes), cuneate at the base, with 2 or 3 parallel keels extending from the base to a little below the apex, on the midlobe undulate; lateral lobes short, obliquely oblong to triangular-subfalcate, erect-patent, obtuse to subacute; midlobe cuneate-flabellate, 0.5-0.7 by 0.7-0.9 cm, with the lateral margins strongly undulate-plicate and irregularly lobulate, apex truncate to broadly retuse, apiculate. Column 0.27-0.35 cm long, clinandrium minutely denticulate, with a slightly larger tooth in the middle; column-foot 0.4-0.5 cm long. Anther rounded, in front emarginate, glabrous or ciliolate.
(after Schlechter, 1905).

Colours: Sepals whitish or yellowish, petals and lip white.

Habitat: Epiphyte in lowland rainforest. Altitude 100-300 m.

Flowering time in the wild: Throughout the year.

Distribution: Sulawesi, Moluccas, Bismarck Archipelago, New Guinea.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Merauke and Jayapura Regencies); Papua New Guinea (Gulf, Madang, Morobe, Central Provinces, West New Britain, and East New Britain Provinces).

Map: RHIPIMAP.JPG [Flickingeria rhipidoloba (Schltr.) A.D.Hawkes, distribution map.]

Notes: Characterised by the creamy white flowers and the lip having a broad, bilobulate midlobe, which is strongly pleated.

Cultivation: Warm growing epiphyte, prefers light position.