Arachnis beccarii

Arachnis beccarii Rchb.f., Bot. Centralbl. 28 (1886) 343

Type: Beccari s.n.

Roots to several metres long, 1.2 cm diam., smooth, branching where in contact with the soil. Stems erect, branching at the base, to 100 cm long, in upper half many-leaved. Leaves strap-shaped, curved, channelled-conduplicate, to 150 by 8 cm, usually less, very thick leathery, apex acute. Inflorescences from the axils of the lower leaves, paniculate, erect, branches many, lax, to 2 m long, whole inflorescence to 4-5 m long, flowering over a period of several years; peduncle 1-2 m long, 1 cm diam., becoming woody with age, peduncle-scales several, sheathing, rachis zig-zag, laxly many-flowered, with only one or two flowers opening on each branch at the same time. Floral bracts rhombic, very short, 0.5 cm across. Pedicel and ovary narrowly conical, 1.5-1.8 cm long. Flowers resupinated, c. 3.5 cm across, widely opening, very fleshy. Median sepal obovate-subspathulate, 2.2 by 1.1 cm, apical margins erose, apex rounded. Lateral sepals obliquely obovate-subspathulate, 2 by 1.1 cm, apical margins erose, mid-rib outside raised and irregular, apex rounded. Petals ovate-subspathulate, 1.7 by 1 cm, apical margins erose, apex rounded. Lip 3-lobed, 0.7 cm long, when flattened 1 by 1.2 cm, at the base with two tear-shaped keels, apical half abruptly bent upwards through 90 degrees; lateral lobes porrect, oblong to subquadrate; mid-lobe porrect, very thick, cuneate, with an apical ridge extending backwards to a spade-shaped, on the basal side hairy callus on the base of the mid-lobe. Column oblongoid, broad, 0.7 cm long, on either side of the stigma in front with a small arm. Fruit cylindrical to fusiform, 10 by 1 cm.
(After O'Byrne, 1994).

Colours: Sepals and petals dull ochrish yellow with orange-brown spots and bands on the inner surface. Lip white to yellow or yellow-green with purple spots, lateral lobes yellow-brown, basal keels golden yellow, apical keel white with purple markings. Column white.

Habitat: Terrestrial or lithophytic on rocky outcrops, usually in full sun.

Flowering time in the wild: Throughout the year.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea. See map: 59-4M.JPG

Cultivation: Warm growing terrestrial, requires full sunlight as well as a very open compost.