Didymoplexis micradenia

Didymoplexis micradenia (Rchb.f.) Hemsl., J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 20 (1883) 311

Basionym: Epiphanes micradenia

Leafless terrestrial, erect, very small, 8-15 cm high. Tuber fusiform, horizontal, stem straight or almost straight, with a few small, scale-like sheaths, terete, glabrous. Inflorescence rather laxly 4-8-flowered, erect. Floral bracts scale-like, ovate, obtuse, patent, glabrous, very small. Flowers erect. Median sepal narrowly oblong-ligulate, obtuse, at the apex concave, 0.8 cm long, in basal third or fourth adnate to the lateral sepals. Lateral sepals connate into an oblong blade which is obtusely and obliquely bilobate in apical third, glabrous, 0.6 cm long. Petals linear-ligulate, obtuse, apex subfalcate, along the upper margin to below the apex adnate to the median sepal, along the lower margin in basal third adnate to the lateral sepal, glabrous, 0.7 cm long. Lip at the base indistinctly clawed, cuneate, in front subtruncate, 3-lobulate, 0.7 cm long, in front 0.3 cm wide, lobes very short, the laterals deeply cleft, the median not longer, in front dentate, with 3 parallel bands of papillae, the bands extending from basal fifth to below the apex, decurrent, united in front. Column slender, semiterete, glabrous, almost without a foot, towards the apex distinctly dilated, 0.6 cm long. Anther suborbicular-cucullate, glabrous, dorsally obtusely 2-gibbose. Ovary cylindrical, glabrous, about 0.8 cm long. Fruit fusiform, about 2.3 cm long, near the middle 0.6 cm across, when mature together with the elongated pedicel up to 19 cm long. (After Schlechter, 1911-1914, as Didymoplexis papuana Schltr.).

Habitat: Terrestrial in forest. Altitude 30-400 m.

Flowering time in the wild: July, August, September, October.

Distribution: Malesia (Java, New Guinea), Solomon Is., Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea. See map: 227-9M.JPG

Cultivation: Terrestrial, probably parasitic on fungi and probably impossible to grow under normal conditions.

Note: Easily recognised by the dentate front margin of the lip.