Calanthe rhodochila

Calanthe rhodochila Schltr. in K.Schum. & Lauterb., Nachtr. Fl. Deutsch. Schutzgeb. Südsee (1905) 143, var. rhodochila

Type: Schlechter 14021 (holo B, lost; iso AMES, BRI, W)

Terrestrial or epiphytic herb 28-45 cm tall; roots long, flexuous, shortly tomentose. Pseudobulbs completely hidden by leaf-bases, 2- or 3-leafed. Leaves articulate, distichous, narrowly lanceolate, plicate, acuminate, 5-nerved, 15-40 cm long, 1.3-5.5 cm wide; narrowed into a petiole at the base; petiole longitudinally grooved, 4-12 cm long. Young leaf shoots sheathed in bracts c. 1.2 cm long of which fibrous remnants persist at the base of mature shoots. Inflorescence lateral, arising from the base of the pseudobulb, erect, shorter than the leaves, 10-28 cm tall, fractious; raceme densely flowered, cylindrical; bracts persistent, 1.3-1.5 by 0.65-0.95 cm, erect, amplexicaul, broadly obovate, acuminate, those near the apex more acuminate and with more crenulate margins than those near the base, recurved at apex, with 3 thickened nerves. Flowers erect, spreading. Median sepal erect, incurved, oblong-oval, obtuse, occasionally mucronate, concave, 3-nerved, glands throughout, 0.94-1.3 by 0.35-0.55 cm. Lateral sepals oblique, oblong, falcate, obtuse, concave, shortly carinate to minutely aristate, 3-nerved, glands throughout, 0.82-0.95 by 0.3-0.45 cm. Petals oblong-elliptic to spathulate, margins sometimes wavy, emarginate or retuse or apiculate, glands throughout or restricted to apical half, 0.82-0.9 by 0.28-0.4 cm. Lip adnate to column; lamina 0.4-0.55 by 0.2-0.25 cm, quadrangular-obovate to oblong, recurved at apex, sparsely glandular, apical margins often turned inwards, obtuse or acute, often apiculate, 5-nerved, young flowers lacking a callus, thickening of the lip at the mouth of the spur eventually producing a basal callus in mature flowers, callus rotund, fleshy, asymmetric in cross section, along with thickened spur walls restricting diameter of spur mouth; spur adpressed to ovary, 0.4-0.5 cm long from apex to base of column, 0.2-0.33 cm diameter in widest part, narrowed towards base. Column 0.3-0.4 cm long, ovary 0.8-1.1 cm long. Fruit capsule ellipsoid, 0.4-1.2 cm long, covered by fibrous remnants of floral bracts. (After Thomas, 1999).

Colours: Floral bracts white with thickly marked green nerves and margins. Flowers white, with a red to orange lip or with a red to orange patch on the lip.

Habitat: Epiphyte in upper montane forest in shaded positions. Altitude 1250-2400 m.

Flowering time in the wild: January, February, March, April.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea. See map: 101-291M.JPG

Cultivation: Cool growing epiphyte, keep in shade.