Agrostophyllum megalurum

Agrostophyllum megalurum Rchb.f. in Seem., Fl. Vitiensis (1868) 296

Type: Graeffe s.n. (Samoa, Upolo) lecto herb. Reichenbach 37344 (W, chosen by Kores 1989); id. (W, several); Graeffe 43 (W, several)

Plant epiphytic or terrestrial, to c. 66 cm long. Stems erect, flattened, 0.7-1.7 cm wide over the leaf sheaths, from base to top about equally wide or gradually broadening, widest just below the apex. Leaf sheath more or less inflated, loose around the stem, reaching to the base of the second one above, 1.2-3 cm long; with a 1.2-3 cm long incision, without or rarely with a tubular basal part; width of margin to midrib 0.4-0.8 cm; apical margin at the articulation drawn out into a slender, rounded to triangular, 0.1-0.3 cm long, tooth-like projection or rarely this is absent. Leaf blade erect-patent, linear lanceolate to linear, (2.8-)5-11.2 by 0.5-1.3 cm, index 5.2-13.1; base twisted, upper side of all leaf blades completely turned to one side of the plant; apex slender to very slender acute, narrowly triangular, gradually tapering, its tip acute, obtuse, equally or unequally bilobed or equally bidentate, sometimes with a tiny mucro. Inflorescence 8-29 cm long, flattened, with 6-36 internodes of which the ones at the base of the inflorescence are up to 1.5 cm long; partial inflorescences 1(-3) per bract first order. Bracts first order when young overtopping the partial inflorescences, narrowly triangular, those at the base of the inflorescence to c. 3 cm long, c. 2-3 internodes long, folded along the midrib, persistent, with dark coloured margin, when older slit along the midrib, more often almost completely disintegrated into persistent fibres. Partial inflorescences laterally emerging from the slit or from between the fibres of the bract first order, 1-3-flowered; axis 0.1-0.2 cm long. Bracts second order 0.3-0.7 cm long, the fertile one not completely covering pedicel and ovary. Flowers widely open or rather closed; mentum absent. Pedicel and ovary 0.6-0.75 cm long. Median sepal concave, ovate, recurved, 0.35-0.45 by 0.15-0.18 cm, index 1.9-2.5; apex acuminate; nerves 3, midrib a low rounded keel, pronounced to the apex. Lateral sepals slightly asymmetric, free, recurved or not, 0.4-0.52 by 0.14-0.2 cm, index 2.4-3.3; apex caudate; nerves 3, midrib a low rounded keel, pronounced to the apex. Petals symmetric, ovate, sometimes narrowed below the apex, 0.31-0.37 by 0.07-0.12 cm, index 3.3- 5.3; apex acute to very slender acute, tip acuminate; 3-nerved. Lip not divided in a hypochilium and an epichilium, slightly concave at the base, obovate, 0.37-0.4 by 0.15-0.2 cm, index 2-2.7; apex acuminate; margin somewhat curved upwards, irregular, undulate; surface without calli and/or grooves, 7 nerved. Column very simple, widened around the stigma, excluding the anther 0.25-0.35 by c. 0.15 cm, ridges, depressions or stelidia absent; column foot absent. Anther ellipsoid, c. 0.07 by 0.09 cm, with 3 deep, parallel grooves, thus forming 4 rounded parts. Pollinia very small, obovoid, 0.03-0.04 by 0.01-0.02 cm long. Stigma in outline elliptic, broader than long, 0.06-0.07 by 0.1-0.14 cm, laterally not depressed; lower rim not pronounced, rarely with an erect, hook-like dent; rostellum absent. Fruit with at least the column on top persistent; body 0.8-1 by 0.2-0.3 cm. Seeds fusiform, c. 0.02 cm long. (After Weijnen and De Vogel, unpublished).

Colours: Leaves yellowish-green. Bracts brown. Flowers (greenish) white. Column buff, with on the upper side of the column, near the apex a broad maroon M-shaped band (the apex of the M distal) and beneath a smaller maroon W-shaped band. Anther buff or pinkish.

Habitat: Epiphyte in montane forest in shaded positions. Altitude 850 m.

Flowering time in the wild: Not known

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea), Caroline Islands, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Samoa.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 24-69M.JPG

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte, keep in shade.