Calanthe papuana

Calanthe papuana (Schltr.) J.J.Sm., Nova Guinea 14 (1929) 359

Basionym: Aulostylis papuana

Epiphyte, erect, up to 50 cm high; rhizome very short, roots filiform, flexuose, minutely puberulous; pseudobulbs ovoid, weakly angular, 5-7 cm high, below the middle 2-3 cm diameter, at first covered with 1-2 leaf-bearing sheaths, at the apex with 2-3 leaves which soon fall off; leaves articulated, erect-patent or suberect, lanceolate-elliptic or elliptic, acuminate, plicate, glabrous on both sides, at the base narrowed into the short petiole, up to 40 cm long, near the middle up to 8 cm wide; sheaths up to 3 cm long, persistent; Inflorescence slender, terete, long-pilose, towards the apex subvillose, with a few clasping acuminate scales, up to 50 cm long, rachis laxly 7-15-flowered, up to 20 cm long; bracts foliaceous, lanceolate, acuminate, outside pilose, inside glabrous, about as long as the ovary. Flowers erect-patent, showy. Sepals elliptic-oblong, acuminate, outside long-pilose, 2.5 cm long. Lateral sepals oblique. Petals obliquely obovate-elliptic, apiculate, glabrous, 2.3 cm long, above the middle 1.2 cm wide. Lip broadly elliptic, apiculate, above the middle weakly 3-lobed, 2 cm long, above the middle 1.1 cm wide, lateral lobes obtuse, mid-lobe almost semiquadrate, at the base with a thickened median patch decurrent to below the apex, mid-vein sulcate, lip glabrous inside, outside towards the base sparsely pilose. Column glabrous, 1.2 cm long, margins dilated, incurved, connate in front forming a 3-sided tube which is open at the apex and encloses the bifid rostellum as well as the reniform stigma. Anther reniform, apex notched, glabrous, pollinia obliquely clavate, cohering at the base. Ovary with pedicel, clavate, long-pilose, 3 cm long. (After Schlechter, 1911-1914, as Aulostylis papuana Schltr.)

Colours: Flower yellowish white.

Habitat: Epiphyte in montane forest. Altitude 700 m.

Flowering time in the wild: May, July.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 101-253M.JPG

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte.

Note: This may well be a peloric form of Calanthe vestita.