Acanthephippium splendidum

Acanthephippium splendidum J.J.Sm., Natuurk. Tijdschr. Ned.-Indiƫ 58 (1898) 360

Type: Bogor cult. (Koorders) 328c (holo BO)

Terrestrial herb to 80 cm high. Roots few, to 26 cm long, 0.3-0.4 cm diam. Pseudobulb 2- or 3-leaved, ovoid to fusiform, with 4-6 nodes, to 12 cm high by 1 cm diam., more or less covered by persistent sheath fibres. Leaf (broadly) obovate, 5 prominent veins on underside, 30-46 by 10-14 cm, acute to apiculate; petioles sheathing, long, 6-8 cm. Inflorescence lateral, arising from the lowest node on the new growth, 3- to 5-flowered; peduncle 13-16 cm long, c. 0.5 cm diam.; rachis 3-5 cm long. Floral bracts cymbiform, foliaceous, narrowly ovate-lanceolate, acute, 3.8-4.2 by 3.7-3.9 cm. Pedicel with ovary 4 cm long, ovary grooved, sparsely and finely pubescent. Flower fleshy. Dorsal sepal oblong, rounded, minutely and sparsely pubescent at base, adnate to lateral sepals for c. 1/2 their length, 5-veined, 3.8-3.7 by 1.5-1.6 cm. Lateral sepals obliquely oblong, minutely and sparsely pubescent at base, 5-veined, rounded and strongly recurved at the apex, 3.5-3.9 by 2-2.2 cm. Petals spathulate, fleshy, minutely and sparsely pubescent at base, midnerve adnate to the margin of the dorsal sepal and lateral sepal in basal half, 5-7-veined, 3.1-3.4 by 1.6-1.7 cm. Lip 3-lobed; mid-lobe oblong-lanceolate, strongly reflexed, surface uneven, covered in low crenulate ridges, apex obtuse, 0.6-1 by 0.6-0.7 cm; side-lobes erect, hatchet-shaped, their proximal edges arising 0.2-0.3 cm from the base of the lip, upper margins strongly inflexed, 0.5-0.8 by 0.5-0.6 cm; disc 0.65-0.7 by 0.5-0.6 cm; callus on disc consisting of 3-5 crenulate keels, the median keel rounded and low at the base of the disc, low and indistinct at the centre of the disc, rising at the distal end of the disc into a small rounded point, and then continuing as a low crenulate keel along 1/2 the length of the mid-lobe, the lateral keels more distinct than median keel, more or less oblique in cross section at the base and sometimes very oblique in cross section at the apex of the disc, crest double keeled, lateral keels low at the base but rising towards the apex of the disc, ending in rounded projections or flaps. Mentum longer than the column, globose. Column straight, 1 cm long, 0.4-0.5 cm diam.; stigma broadly obovate, c. 0.5 mm long; column-foot 4.5 cm, inflexed more or less in the middle through an angle of c. 30 degrees, slightly recurved towards the apex, united to the lateral sepals for about half of its length. Anther 0.35-0.45 by 0.35-0.4 cm, the front margin drawn out into an acute triangular flap. Pollinia 8, the large pollinia 0.25 by 0.1 cm, the smaller 0.15 by 0.1 cm. Fruit on long stalk to 25 cm long, 4-6 by 2 cm. (after Thomas, 1997)

Colours: Flowers with a yellow-orange base colour, the sepals striped with red along the veins, heavily spotted with red in the apical 1/4, the petals yellow with faint red-orange markings, the column white, the lip yellow with dark red-orange markings.

Habitat: Terrestrial under heavy shade on the forest floor in deep leaf litter; 0 to 1300 m.

Flowering time in the wild: January, March, April, July, October, December.

Distribution: Celebes, Moluccas (Ambon), New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Tonga, Horne Islands.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea. See map: 3-17M.JPG

Cultivation: Warm to intermediate growing terrestrial, keep in shade.