Ceratostylis mamberamensis

Ceratostylis mamberamensis J.J.Sm., Nova Guinea 14 (1929) 384, pl. 55, 40

Type: Lam 1071 (holo L; iso BO)

Growing in tufts. Rhizome short, branched, roots thin, laxly pilose. Stems close together, terete, carnose, 12-26 cm long, 0.23-0.28 cm diam. (in spirit material), 1-leaved, at the base when young with several imbricating, membranous, somewhat prominent reticulate-veined, up to 4 cm long sheaths which increase in size upwards. Leaf erect, subulate, fleshy, 4.25-6 cm long, 0.3 cm diam. (in spirit material), acute, channeled above, leaf-margins in apical part with a very thin somewhat raised line; sheath tubular, torn in front, about 0.2 cm long. Inflorescences fascicled, compact, peduncle very short, 0.2 cm long, with a few imbricating, cup-shaped, broadly ovate, inflated, hyaline scales with shortly and weakly recurved acuminate apex. Floral bracts at the base tubular, otherwise open, dorsally above the base more or less inflated, acute, hyaline, 0.28 cm long. Flower 0.5 cm long. Sepals dorsally finely appressed pubescent, apices strongly recurved, petals in the basal part parallel. Median sepal oblong, obtuse, minutely apiculate, at the base somewhat concave, 3-nerved, 0.4 cm long, 0.14 cm wide. Lateral sepals with an obliquely inflated-concave lobule in the basal part adnate to the column-foot, front margins deeply connate, free apex recurved, when flattened in total 0.5 cm long, above the mentum dilated into a broadly ovate, bifid, 0.35 cm long, 0.3 cm wide blade, at the free apex obliquely triangular, obtuse, acutely conical-apiculate, 3-nerved; mentum pointing backwards, about 0.1 cm long, almost parallel with the ovary, straight, at the apex especially dorsally somewhat inflated, broadly obtuse, distinctly shorter than the ovary, 0.2 cm long, 0.13 cm wide. Petals porrect, at the base concave, appressed to the column, in apical part recurved and convex, obliquely lanceolate to subrhombic-lanceolate, acute, 0.38-0.3 cm long, 0.08-0.1 cm wide. Lip above the base obtusely recurved, parallel to the column, porrect, much surpassing the column, oblong, convex below, 3-nerved, when flattened 0.44 cm long, 0.18 cm wide, at apex 0.14 cm wide, at the base shortly contracted, basal part concave, margins erect, ciliolate, appressed to the column, in upper third somewhat contracted, convex-thickened and subovate, obtuse, on either side with a very short thickening which is decurrent on the margins, with two thin, parallel, ciliolate keels from the base up to the middle of the lip, with a third keel from the middle of the apical thickening decurrent towards the base. Column up to 1/3 above the base bipartite, dorsally convex, 0.47 cm long, arms porrect, parallel, slightly surpassing the anther, oblong, rounded, outside convex, inside concave. Anther cucullate, 0.08 cm wide, thin, apex semiorbicular-produced with incurved margins, at the base dilated and lobulate. Pollinia 8, pyriform. Column-foot pointing backwards, about 0.1 cm long, making a narrowly acute angle with the ovary, in upper half almost rectangular incurved and free from the lateral sepals, linear, towards the apex gradually narrowed, somewhat channeled with a small, low, longitudinal rib. Ovary with pedicel terete, pubescent, 0.3 cm long. (After Smith, 1929)

Colours: Sepals and petals purplish, lip yellow, column yellowish white, ovary purplish.

Habitat: Epiphyte in lower montane forest. Altitude 0-1400 m.

Flowering time in the wild: July, September.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia). See map: 125-93M.JPG

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte.