Agrostophyllum torricellense

Agrostophyllum torricellense Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 1 (1912) 260

Type: Schlechter 20205 (holo B, lost; iso K); neo: Ledermann 9048 (K; isoneo AMES, chosen by Weijnen & de Vogel)

Plant to c. 58 cm long. Stems erect, extremely flattened, 0.9-2.2 cm wide over the leaf sheaths, widest c. halfway the stem, tapering to base and apex. Leaf sheath hardly to distinctly recurved, in the latter case only at the base appressed to the stem, reaching to the base of the third to fourth one above, at the upper part of the stem reaching to the base of the next one above, (2.5-)6-13 cm long; with a (2-)5-11.5 cm long incision, with a (small) tubular basal part; width of margin to midrib 0.5-0.8 cm; apical margin at the articulation mostly drawn out into a slender, triangular, 0.1-0.5 cm long, tooth-like projection. Leaf blade erect-patent, linear, rarely linear lanceolate, (6.1-)9.8-29.3 by 0.7-1.3 cm, index (8.9- )14-27.3; base twisted, upper side of all leaf blades completely turned to one side of the plant; apex very slender acute, gradually tapering, its tip often equally bidentate or acute, rarely equally bilobed. Inflorescence 10-26 cm long, flattened, with 6-19 internodes of which the ones at the base of the inflorescence are up to 2(-3.5) cm long; partial inflorescences 1-5 per bract first order. Bract first order when young overtopping the partial inflorescences, narrowly triangular, those at the base of the inflorescence to 3(-6) cm long, c. 2 internodes long, folded along the midrib, persistent, with dark-coloured margin, when older slit along the midrib, more often disintegrated into not persistent fibres. Partial inflorescence at the apex laterally emerging from the slit or from between the fibres of the bract first order, 1-flowered, with 4 bracts second order of which the lowest 3 are sterile; axis 0.05-0.15 cm long. Bracts second order 0.27-0.7 cm long, the fertile one not completely covering pedicel and ovary. Flowers rather closed, very small; mentum short, obtuse, c. 0.1 cm long. Pedicel and ovary 0.5-0.9 cm long. Median sepal concave to strongly concave, ovate, not recurved, 0.35-0.4 by 0.2-0.25 cm, index 1.4-2.0; apex acute to slightly acuminate; nerves 3-5, midrib a low rounded keel, pronounced to the apex. Lateral sepals asymmetric, free, not recurved, 0.4-0.52 by 0.16-0.25 cm, index 1.6-2.6; apex acuminate; nerves 3-4, midrib a low rounded keel, pronounced to the apex. Petals symmetric, rather broad, ovate, 0.3-0.4 by 0.1-0.23 cm, index 1.5-3.2; apex obtuse or acute, tip acute or slightly acuminate; 3-4-nerved. Lip 0.4-0.5 cm long. Hypochile saccate to (shallowly) concave, 0.1-0.15 by 0.11-0.15 by 0.05-0.15 cm; inner surface without keels; base very shallowly saccate; lateral lobes very low, in front broadly rounded; callus absent, or a very small ridge between hypochilium and epichilium, not overtopping the lateral lobes. Epichile (shallowly) concave, ovate, when flattened 0.26-0.4 by 0.2-0.26 cm, index 1-1.6; margin curved upwards, rather irregular, undulate; apex acuminate, sometimes curved backwards. Column hardly widened around the stigma, excluding the anther 0.22-0.3 by 0.14-0.15 cm; laterally on either side with a ridge which is next to the stigma not distinctly drawn out into a arm-like lobe; column foot almost absent, up to c. 0.05 by 0.1 cm. Anther ellipsoid to globose, 0.06-0.1 by 0.08-0.1 cm. Pollinia obovoid, 0.06-0.08 by 0.02-0.04 cm. Stigma in outline about rectangular, 0.07-0.12 by 0.08-0.13 cm, laterally hardly depressed; lower rim pronounced; rostellum indistinct folded to the front, median notched. Fruit with perianth and/or column on apex persistent; body c. 0.75-1 by 0.27-0.3 cm. Seeds fusiform, 0.01-0.02 cm long. (After Weijnen and De Vogel, unpublished).

Colours: Stems covered in (pale) brown, persistent leaf bases. Leaves mid-green above, paler below, sheaths with a brown margin, or leaves dark-green, shiny, thin and leathery above, mid-green and duller below. Rachis olive-green or dark-green. Bracts (coffee-)brown. Flower entirely pure white, or with lip at base of epichile yellowish. Fruit green, turning (dark) brown.

Habitat: Epiphyte in montane forest. Altitude 1000 m.

Flowering time in the wild: July, September.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 24-106M.JPG

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte.