Arthrochilus irritabilis

Arthrochilus irritabilis F.Muell., Fragm. 1 (1858) 43

Type: Hill & Mueller s.n. (Australia, Moreton Bay) (holo MEL; iso K)

Terrestrial, 5-35 cm high. Tuber subglobose. Sterile shoots with 2-6 basal leaves arranged in a rosette, flowering shoots leafless. Leaves ovate to oblong, 2-6 by 0.7-1.5 cm, indistinctly striped, apex subacute to acuminate. Inflorescence racemose, peduncle-scales few, laxly 2-30-flowered. Floral bracts much shorter than the ovary. Flowers not resupinated. Median sepal erect, linear, dilated to the apex, 1-1.4 by 0.1 cm. Lateral sepals sharply deflexed, little more than half as long as the median sepal. Petals sharply deflexed, linear-filiform, 0.7-0.8 cm long. Lip mobile, hinged to the column-foot with a very short claw, blade pendent, decurved, 0.7 by 0.03 cm, callus large, insect-like, glandular hairy, broadly emarginate, with an about equally long slender, backwards pointing, uncinate appendage. Column very slender, almost curved in a semicircle, 0.7-0.8 cm long, stelidia filiform, extending beyond the anther, continuing the line of the column; column below the apex with two broadly triangular-subfalcate wings with uncinate pointed apices; stigma shield-like, 0.1 cm long; column-foot long and slender, swollen at the apex.
(After Dockrill, 1969, as Spiculaea irritabilis (F.Muell.) Schltr.).

Colours: Flower light green with red-brown and dark maroon markings, especially on the callus.

Habitat: Terrestrial in savanna grassland.

Flowering time in the wild: January.

Distribution: New Guinea, Australia.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 68-4M.JPG

Cultivation: Warm growing terrestrial, requires light position and a dry resting period.

Note: Differs from Arthrochilus dockrillii in having the leaves arranged in a rosette and in the almost hooked appendage of the callus of the lip.