Epiblastus basalis

Epiblastus basalis Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 1 (1911) 236

Type: Schlechter 18744 (holo B, lost; iso K)

Plant erect, creeping, 25-38 cm high. Roots 6-18 cm long. Rhizome creeping, 2.5-10 cm long. Stems 2-6, consisting of one pseudobulb, all separate on the rhizome, long persistent after the leaf is shed. Scales of the young shoot 7-9, distichous, all in one plane, rather patent, rather soon broken off, mostly at the base; basal one broadly triangular, not tubular (not clearly visible); longest one 6.5-10 cm long. Pseudobulbs not superposed, when dried flattened, 3.5-6.5 by 0.5-0.9 cm, rather finely regularly or irregularly longitudinally wrinkled. Leaf one per pseudobulb. Blade lanceolate, 20-31 by 2.2- 3.5 cm, index 7.1-11.8; top acute, tip sometimes somewhat rounded. Inflorescences (3?-)5-14 per pseudobulb. Scape 6-11.5 cm long. Floral bract at the base not tubular, 0.25-0.3 cm long; midrib slightly keeled. Pedicel and ovary (1.4- )2- 2.5 by 0.1-0.2 cm. Median sepal ovate to elliptic, (0.7-)0.75-0.85 by 0.3-0.5 cm, index 1.6-2.7; top acute to obtuse, sometimes more or less boat shaped and more fleshy, tip rounded; somewhat fleshy; nerves 5, the midrib not pronounced. Lateral sepals rather broadly triangular, base 0.4-0.7 cm wide, central length (0.75-) 0.8-0.95 cm, upper margin (0.65-)0.73-0.95 cm, lower margin (0.8- )0.88-1 cm, at the very base for 0.05-0.1 cm incurved, not or up to c. 0.2 cm connate; top acute to obtuse; somewhat fleshy; nerves 5. Petals elliptic, (0.58-)0.62-0.75 by 0.15-0.32 cm, index (1.9-)2.3-4.7; top acute; membranous to rather fleshy; nerves 3, the lateral ones with few branches. Lip when flattened slender, elliptic to ovate in outline, (0.7-)0.8-0.9 by 0.38-0.5 cm, index 1.6-2.3, (in natural position 0.7- 0.8 cm long); nerves only clear in the top part; basal part narrowly attached to the column foot over a stretch of (0.15-)0.2(-0.28) by 0.07-0.1 cm, 0.13-0.3 cm wide, basal margin with an emarginate to more or less truncate top when flattened; middle part rather fleshy, inside with 2 inconspicuous, very low, rounded, more or less longitudinal, elliptic, c. 0.12 cm long, fleshy calli; lateral lobes erect, broadly (to very broadly) rounded, somewhat fleshy to fleshy; top part 0.38-0.45 cm long, 0.2-0.4 cm wide, acute when flattened, tip sometimes somewhat boat-shaped, rather fleshy, sometimes with a more fleshy low median ridge, margins erect, slightly more fleshy, 3-nerved of which the lateral nerves have several branches. Column 0.25-0.3 cm long, 0.1-0.2 cm wide, 0.15-0.23 cm thick; hood only distinctly developed at the back as a 0.1 cm long strip of tissue, lateral margins hardly developed; column foot, free part 0.2-0.3 cm long, 0.1-0.15 cm wide, at the place where the lip is attached 0.07-0.15 cm thick. Anther 0.1-0.12 by 0.08-0.15 cm. Pollinia c. 0.07 by 0.04-0.05 cm. Stigma about transversely elliptic to orbicular in outline, 0.1-0.15 by 0.15-0.18 cm, inside at the base with two high calli. Fruit 3.7-4.3 by 0.15-0.25 cm; stalk 0.4-0.5 cm long. Seeds c. 0.28 by 0.09 mm. (After Eriks and De Vogel, unpublished)

Colours: Leaves (dark) green, fleshy. Flowers red, bright red, pinkish-red, or cherry-red, very rarely reported as green to yellow. Fruit white-red.

Habitat: Epiphyte in upper montane forest in exposed positions. Altitude 1100-2300 m.

Flowering time in the wild: September, December.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 272-5M.JPG

Cultivation: Cool growing epiphyte, keep in light position.