Agrostophyllum papuanum

Agrostophyllum papuanum Schltr. in K.Schum. & Lauterb., Nachtr. Fl. Deutsch. Schutzgeb. Südsee (1905) 128

Type: Schlechter 13970 (holo B, lost; iso K, P)

Epiphytic, stout, hanging down, several-stemmed, ca. 50 cm long. Roots filiform, elongated, terete, glabrous. Stems at the base terete, elsewhere laterally flattened, glabrous, leafy, entirely covered by the large, laterally flattened, at the apex rounded leaf-sheaths. Leaves erect, oblong-ligulate, apex unequally bilobulate, 10-14 by 3-4 cm. Inflorescence terminal, densely capitate, globose, many-flowered, ca. 2.5 cm diam. Median sepal lanceolate-oblong, rather obtuse 0.4 cm long. Lateral sepals as long as the median sepal, subacuminate, along the front margin towards the base strongly dilated, at the base 0.3 cm wide. Petals obliquely ligulate-oblong, obtuse, 0.3 cm long. Lip in outline rhomboid-rounded, 3-lobed, lobes inconspicuous, apex of the mid-lobe shortly acuminate; epichile 0.3 cm long, in the middle 0.3 cm wide; sac oblong, broadly obtuse, as long as the epichile; appendage at the mouth of the spur transverse, erect, trapeziform, with retuse apex. Column below the stigma with a flattened rounded callus. Anther rounded, in front minute bilobulate, between the lobules very minutely bidenticulate; pollinia 8, pyriform; viscidium minute, rounded. Ovary sessile, subcylindrical, ca. 0.7 cm long. (After Schlechter, 1905).

Colours: Flowers pure white.

Habitat: Epiphyte in montane forest in shaded positions. Altitude 1000-2300 m.

Flowering time in the wild: January, June, July, September.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea. See map: 24-82M.JPG

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte, keep in shade.

Note: Easily recognised by the broad, laterally flattened leaf-sheaths and the blunt, broad leaves lying in the same plane with the stem and which are abruptly narrowed at the base. The only species with similar habit is Agrostophyllum kaniense Schltr., which differs in having arm-like projections on the column.