Microtatorchis triloba

Microtatorchis triloba J.J.Sm., Nova Guinea 14 (1929) 499, pl. 84, fig. 137

Type: Lam 1495 (holo L; iso BO)

Stem elongated, thin, rooting, leafy in upper part, 5-8.5 cm long. Leaves c. 10-17, membranous, withering into fibres, lanceolate, to 0.75 by 0.2-0.3 cm, at the apex obtuse or subacute, rather long mucronate, gradually narrowed towards base, 3-nerved, mid-rib prominent below; sheaths tubular. Inflorescences axillary, elongated, producing flowers for a long time, many-flowered, 9-11.5 cm long; rachis thin, angular, minutely papillose, with widely patent, long, subulate, papillose prickles. Floral bracts very small, turned to all sides, widely patent, triangular, 0.15 cm long, acute, with one or a few, entire or branched prickles on either side at the base. Flowers very small, 0.28 cm long. Sepals and petals concave, 1-nerved, at the base connate for 0.05 cm forming an oblique, underneath split, when flattened 0.27 cm wide tube. Median sepal lanceolate, free part oblong, subobtuse, apiculate, in total 0.18 cm long, free part 0.13 cm long, slightly more than 0.05 cm wide. Lateral sepals subobliquely elliptic-lanceolate, 0.18 cm long, free part oblong-ovate, pointed, 0.13 cm long, 0.06 cm wide. Petals a little shorter, 0.17 cm long, free part ovate-elliptic, acute, apiculate-acuminate, 0.13 by 0.06 cm. Lip spurred, in total 0.28 cm long, blade concave, in front 3-lobed, underneath convex, when flattened cuneate, 0.15 by 0.17 cm, 4-nerved, with the nerves above the middle merging into a pair, at the base thin; lateral lobes inside along the posterior side rounded-swollen, erect, triangular, falcate-incurved, obtuse, with slightly irregular margins; mid-lobe porrect, making a rounded sinus with the lateral lobes, slightly recurved, triangular, 0.05 cm long, acute, somewhat fleshy, inside verruculose and in the middle longitudinally thickened, the thickening separated from the thickenings of the lateral lobes by a groove; spur pointing backwards, appressed to the ovary, clavate, underneath longitudinally channelled, basal part tubular, dorsally compressed, short, inflated part slightly dorsally compressed, ovate, with the apex slightly contracted, narrowly obtuse, in total 0.13 cm long, inflated part almost 0.1 cm wide. Column very short, transverse, at the base contracted, dorsally convex, at the apex truncate, almost 0.05 cm long; stigma lobes surpassing the apex of the column, broad, concave, obtuse, their proximal margins raised, rounded, merging at the base in a V-shape. Ovary triangular, 6-ribbed, especially the keels near to the median keel dorsal in the apical part sparsely muriculate, 0.1 cm long; pedicel triangular in cross-section, swollen at the base, 0.07 cm long. (After Smith, 1929)

Colours: Roots, leaves, inflorescence and bracts green. Flowers greenish yellow, later becoming orange, with light yellow base, spur and ovary.

Habitat: Epiphyte in montane forest; 1780 m.

Flowering time in the wild: October.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia). See map: 449-51M.JPG.

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte.