Mediocalcar uniflorum

Mediocalcar uniflorum Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 1 (1911) 227

Type: Schlechter 20074 (holo B, lost; lecto AMES, chosen by Schuiteman 1997; iso BM)

Roots densely covered with minute root-hairs, c. 0.5 mm thick. Rhizome creeping, more or less frequently branching, 1.5-2 mm thick. Cataphylls 5, closely appressed, tubular, subglabrous, subacute to acute, apiculate, slightly keeled near the tip. Pseudobulbs erect to suberect, (1-)2-4(-6) cm apart, terete, often slightly rugose in living specimens, (1-)2-3(-4) cm long, 2-2.5 mm across; base not or very slightly elongated. Leaves one per pseudobulb, sessile to subpetiolate, elliptic to linear-elliptic (index 3.5-12.5), (2-)2.5-6.5(-8) cm by (3.5-)6-15(-17) mm; apex obtuse, more or less unequally bilobed, mucronate, with the mucro shorter than the lobules; coriaceous. Inflorescences solitary, synanthous, at the base with a narrow scale c. 3.5 mm long. Peduncle 2-2.5 cm long, at the apex with a triangular, sometimes bifid or truncate bract 1-1.5 mm long. Pedicel and ovary 9-15 mm long. Flowers urceolate, more or less oblique, more or less laterally flattened, 9-14 mm long. Synsepalum 10-14 mm long and 14-19 mm wide when cut open and flattened; free tips only slightly spreading, 4-4.5 mm long; obtuse to subacute. Lateral sepals smooth or indistictly keeled near the tips. Petals rather variable in shape, linear, elliptic or lanceolate (index 4-7.5), 7-8.5 by 1-2 mm; apex acute to acuminate; 2- or 3-nerved. Lip 7-9.5 by 3-4 mm in natural position, the blade broadly ovate when flattened; claw 3.2-3.75 by c. 2 mm, auricles rather inconspicuous, reflexed; apex acute to acuminate, straight; margins erect, clasping the column; spur broadly cylindrical, recurved, parallel to the column, 2.5-3.8 mm long, 1.5-2.8 mm wide just below the mouth. Column broadly clavate, 4.5-5 mm long, c. 2.5 mm wide at the apex, foot short, c. 1 mm long. Fruit narrowly cylindrical, c. 4 cm by 3 mm. (After Schuiteman, 1997)

Colours: Flower bright red to orange-red, rarely pink, with yellowish green to lime-green tips to the sepals, petals and lip. Very rarely the entire flower yellow. Enclosed part of petals and lip pinkish or cream colour. Column cream colour. Pollinia pale yellow. Peduncle and ovary red or purplish red. Leaves deep olive-green, paler green or purplish below, usually with dull purple margins. Pseudobulbs olive-green or dull purple.

Habitat: Epiphyte in montane forest, sometimes terrestrial in open, almost shrubby forest; 800-2950 m.

Flowering time in the wild: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea. See map: 436-53M.JPG.

Cultivation: Cool growing epiphyte, requires shaded position.

Notes: One of the most common species of Mediocalcar. It may be recognised by the stalk-like, erect, 1-leaved pseudobulbs.