Ceratostylis subcoerulea

Ceratostylis subcoerulea P.Royen, Alp. Fl. New Guinea 2 (1979) 473, fig. 164

Type: Balgooy, van 392 (holo L)

Epiphytic, 6-16 cm high herb. Stems glabrous, slender, 2-10 by 0.1 cm, ribbed. Sheaths glabrous, 0.3-2.5 cm long, tubular at base, subcaudate-acuminate, many-ribbed. Leaves erect, subcoriaceous, glabrous, subulate or linear, 3-6.5 by 0.15-0.2 cm, acute, margin either along entire length involute or subulate-folded at tip and base only, with a central 2.5-3.5 cm long flat part, mid-rib grooved above, subprominent below; sheath glabrous, 0.2-0.4 cm long, nerved. Inflorescences 7-4. Subtending scales glabrous, ovate, 0.5-0.8 by 0.15-0.5 cm, subcaudate-acuminate or cuspidate, 3-5-nerved. Peduncle scales and floral bract glabrous, tubular, 0.2-0.45 cm long, subacute, 1-nerved. Peduncle and rachis very short. Pedicels 0.1-0.25 cm long, antrorsely villose. Ovary sparsely antrorsely villose, narrowly obliquely clavate, 0.2-0.5 by 0.1 cm, 3-sided, 6-ribbed. Median sepal glabrous, ovate-elliptic or oblong-obovate, 0.65-1 by 0.25-0.3 cm, subacute, 3- or 5-nerved, slightly crested at tip. Lateral sepals glabrous, obliquely ovate-elliptic or elliptic-oblong, 0.8-1 by 0.28-0.35 cm, subacute, 3-nerved but the outermost nerves rather slender and short, mentum sparsely villose, short, 0.12-0.2 by 0.12-0.2 cm, slightly 2-lobed at tip. Petals glabrous, slightly obliquely lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, 0.55-1 by 0.15-0.2 cm, subacute, 3-nerved, margins slightly wavy. Lip glabrous, ovate-lanceolate or elliptic-oblong, 0.75-1.2 by 0.22-0.4 cm, abruptly narrowed in basal part, subacute, basal part of margins curved upwards, entire lip 3-nerved. Column short, obcuneate, 0.05-0.08(-0.15) cm long. Arms falcate, 0.15-0.2 cm long, rounded, crested on inside. Anther widely cucullate, 0.12-0.15 by 0.1 by 0.03-0.05 cm, rounded or retuse at tip, truncate at base. Capsule not seen. (After Van Royen, 1979).

Colours: Leaves mid-green. Flowers bluish or purplish white with purple ovary, lip green, or entire flower transparent white with purple ovary.

Habitat: Epiphyte in upper montane forest in shaded positions. Altitude 2480-3300 m.

Flowering time in the wild: January, March, May.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea. See map: 125-145M.JPG

Cultivation: Cool growing epiphyte, keep in shade.

Note: One of the few relatively distinctive species of Ceratostylis in New Guinea because the lip, unlike almost all other species, is not swollen at the apex. The sometimes bluish colour of the flowers is also characteristic.