Ceratostylis alticola

Ceratostylis alticola P.Royen, Alp. Fl. New Guinea 2 (1979) 480, fig. 167

Type: Kalkman 4810 (holo L)

Epiphytic, up to 35 cm high herb. Stems glabrous, slender, 12-20 cm long, terete. Sheaths glabrous, broadly ovate, 3-6 cm long, many-ribbed. Leaves erect, fleshy, glabrous, linear, 7-15 by 0.2-0.4 cm, flat but plicate at either end, ensiform and acuminate at tip, mid-rib slightly prominent to flat above, rounded to slightly prominent below, margin glabrous; leaf-sheaths glabrous, 0.2-0.5 cm, many-ribbed. Inflorescences many. Subtending scales ovate, 0.8 by 0.2 cm, caudate-acuminate, many-nerved, glabrous. Peduncle scales 4 or 5, ovate, 0.2-0.4 by 0.15-0.25 cm, subacute, without nerves, glabrous. Floral bract slightly tubular at base, 0.45 by 0.35 cm, otherwise similar to the peduncle scales. Peduncle sparsely appressed villose. Pedicel and ovary densely appressed white villose, clavate-oblong, 0.35-0.4 by 0.1 cm. Median sepal elliptic-oblong, 0.55 by 0.2 cm, obtuse, apiculate, 3-nerved, glabrous except for some scattered warts near tip and sparsely villose on outside in basal part. Lateral sepals elliptic-oblong, 0.45 by 0.2 cm, obtuse, apiculate; mentum oblong, 0.15 cm long, 2-lobed at tip, scattered villose, free part 3-nerved, scattered villose on outside of basal part only. Petals glabrous, rhombic, lanceolate or elliptic-lanceolate, 0.45 by 0.15 cm, subacute, 1-nerved with a pair of lateral branches in the middle. Lip narrowly elliptic, 0.5-0.6 cm long, auricled-saccate at base, from a narrow claw widening to a boat-like central part and narrowing again to the oblong, 0.3 by 0.1 cm large, thickened, obtuse, apical part, the latter slightly pustulate, entire lip 3-nerved, mid-rib flat above, markedly crested below and crest continuing to the middle of the thickened apical part, with two lateral crests only crested in basal part of the bowl-like part of lip, not reaching the base, margin finely ciliate in central part. Column very short, 0.07 by 0.1 by 0.05 cm, apiculate at tip, rounded-retuse at base, sparsely warty mainly in basal part. Pollinia pear-shaped, 0.05 cm long. Capsule obliquely fusiform, 0.8-1.2 by 0.3-0.5 cm, 6-ribbed, white villose, at tip with remnant of flower. (After Van Royen, 1979).

Colours: Flowers light brownish or greenish purple, lip green or olive green, tips of sepals and petals sometimes green.

Habitat: Epiphyte in upper montane forest. Altitude 2896-3350 m.

Flowering time in the wild: February, July, September.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 125-7M.JPG

Cultivation: Cool growing epiphyte.