Calanthe versteegii

Calanthe versteegii J.J.Sm., Bull. Jard. Bot. Buitenzorg, sér. 2, 13 (1914) 55

Type: Pulle (Versteeg) 2485 (holo BO; iso L)

Terrestrial herb up to 25 cm high, erect or slightly decumbent. Stem elongate, sheathed in lower half, leafy in top half, 6-13 cm long. Leaves distichous; blade patent to spreading patent, subcoriaceous, often conduplicate, apical margin denticulate, glabrous, ovate-linear or linear, 3-9 by 0.3-0.5 cm, obtuse, base narrowly cuneate, midrib grooved above, prominent below; sheaths conduplicate, ribbed, often with crenulate margins. Inflorescences 1 or rarely 2, 1-3-flowered, up to 6 cm long. Peduncle glabrous, 1-3 cm long. Floral bracts persistent, lanceolate, acute or acuminate, margin minutely crenulate, 1.5-2.0 cm long. Pedicel with ovary l cm long, glabrous. Median sepal elliptic or oblong, 1.0-1.5 by 0.3-0.7 cm, cuspidate. Lateral sepals 1.1-1.3 by 0.3-0.7 cm, obliquely ovate-oblong or ovate, mid-nerve keeled, often forming an apiculate tip. Petals 0.8-1.2 by 0.5-0.9 cm, elliptic-obovate, obtuse, often apiculate, sometimes slightly falcate. Lip subquadrate to suborbicular when spread, 0.5-0.6 by 0.3-0.5 cm, in natural position apical margins often inrolled to give a triangular point; callus in mouth of spur rounded, bilobed, variously developed depending upon maturity of the flower; spur short, conical, 0.5-0.8 cm long, rounded. Column 0.5-0.6 cm long. Anther ovoid, 0.1 cm across; pollinia 8, pyriform. (After Thomas, 1999).

Colours: Leaf sheaths reddish purple. Flowers greenish white, sometimes with orange or pink patch on the lip. Pollinia brownish yellow.

Habitat: Terrestrial in upper montane forest in exposed positions. Altitude 3560 m.

Flowering time in the wild: January, February, April, July, September, October.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea. See map: 101-380M.JPG

Cultivation: Cool growing terrestrial, keep in light position.

Note: An unusual high altitude species with elongated stems and very narrow leaves.