Microtatorchis terrestris

Microtatorchis terrestris J.J.Sm., Nova Guinea 14 (1929) 500, pl. 85, fig. 139

Type: Lam 1665 (holo L; iso BO)

Terrestrial. Stem erect or decumbent, 1-3 cm long, densely covered with triangular, subulate-acuminate scales; roots very numerous, densely fascicled, growing vertically. Inflorescences many, erect, densely fascicled, rigid, many-flowered, producing flowers for a long time; peduncle 3-8 cm long, with a few small, bract-like, not tubular scales; rachis 2-8 cm long. Floral bracts distichous, half-clasping the rachis, widely patent, broadly ovate-triangular, obtuse, concave, at the base on either side decurrent on the rachis, dorsally 0.13 cm long, on either side at the base with a narrowly triangular, more or less falcate projection. Flowers very small, 0.38 cm long. Sepals and petals at the base very shortly connate. Median sepal oblong, obtuse, initially concave, 1-nerved, 0.18-0.23 cm long, 0.07 to almost 0.1 cm wide. Lateral sepals obliquely oblong, at the apex narrowed, subobtuse, dorsally near the apex thickened, 1-nerved, 0.2-0.25 by 0.1 cm. Petals obliquely oblong to rhombic, subsigmoid, subobtuse, 1-nerved, 0.23 by 0.08 to slightly more than 0.1 cm. Lip spurred, in total 0.33 cm long; blade much surpassing the column, concave, at the apex 3-lobed, when flattened 0.16 by 0.2 cm; lateral lobes erect, semiorbicular-trapezoid, angles rounded; mid-lobe porrect, surpassing the lateral lobes but much smaller, making an obtuse angle with the lateral lobes, carnose, in lateral view oblong-quadrangular, truncate, when seen from above triangular, subobtuse, concave above, almost 0.03 cm long; spur pointing backwards, making an acute angle with the ovary, almost conical, 0.1 cm long, especially in front convex, obtuse. Column very short, at the apex truncate, 0.05 cm long; clinandrium semiorbicular, concave, stigma lobes porrect, almost twice as long as the column, at the apex rounded, concave, at the base merging into a V-shape. Anther cucullate, orbicular-obreniform, 0.05 cm long, extended into a constricted, subrhombic, obtuse, above convex, underneath concave, recurved beak with broad, basally incurved margins. Pollinia 2, elliptic; stipe spathulate, at the base slender, blade suborbicular; viscidium conspicuous, lanceolate. Rostellum short, bidentate. Ovary 6-grooved, 0.23 cm long, with a few clavate hairs in the grooves. (After Smith, 1929)

Colours: Roots pale brown. Leaf and stem greenish yellow or yellow. Flower light green when young, becoming yellow or orange-yellow, spur and ovary lighter.

Habitat: Terrestrial between stones on open summit; 3520 m.

Flowering time in the wild: October.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia). See map: 449-48M.JPG.

Cultivation: Cool growing terrestrial, requires light position.