Octarrhena bilabrata

Octarrhena bilabrata (P.Royen) W.Kittr., Bot. Mus. Leafl. 30 (1984, publ. 1985) 100

Basionym: Kerigomnia bilabrata

Bushy epiphyte, 4-18 cm high. Stems flexuose, simple or branched, terete, glabrous. Leaves articulate, ensiform, oblong-elliptic, 0.55-0.65 by 0.12-0.17 cm, acute or apiculate, scattered coarsely warty. Inflorescence 0.4-0.8 cm long, 1-3-flowered. Peduncle 0.25-0.3 cm long, at base with 4 scales. Floral bracts tubular in the basal part, slightly flaring and obliquely truncate at the apex, 0.15-0.25 cm long, acuminate, 1-nerved, with a few scattered warts. Sepals connate the base, with an outwards pointing fold on the junction, broadly ovate, median one slightly wider than the more oblique lateral ones, 0.2-0.25 by 0.15-0.18 cm, subacute, 1-nerved, scattered papillose on inside, lower margin of lateral sepals ciliate. Petals kidney-shaped to bean-shaped, 0.4 mm long, with scattered long stiff hairs along the narrow edges, fleshy. Lip oblong, slightly spoon-shaped, 1.2 by 0.6 mm, rounded or retuse, 1-nerved, with long stiff hairs along margin. Column obconoid, 1-1.5 mm across, at the base with a thick, fleshy, 2-lobed, lip-like appendage on upper side connected by a third fleshy ridge to lower part of column, this ridge with a narrow, scattered appressed-hairy crest, lobes equal or unequal, appendage subdensely appressed-hairy all over on outside, on inside only on the parts below the connecting ridge to the column; stelidia 2, triangular-ovate, 0.3 mm long, obtuse. Anther flat, cap-shaped, 0.8 by 0.6 by 0.2 mm. Pollinia narrowly pyriform, viscidium small. Pedicels 0.5-1 mm long; ovary broadly obovoid or claviform, 0.3-0.35 by 0.15-0.3 cm, glabrous. Capsule not seen. (After van Royen, 1979)

Colours: Flowers brownish orange, lip slightly purplish.

Habitat: Epiphyte on exposed mossy branches in montane forest; 2650-3000 m.

Flowering time in the wild: February, July.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 486-8M.JPG.

Cultivation: Cool growing epiphyte, requires light postion.

Notes: A very unusual plant because of the strongly warty leaves, recalling in this respect Dendrobium cuthbertsonii. It is interesting that two distantly related orchids in New Guinea possess this deviating leaf surface, which occurs nowhere else among Asian Orchidacae. The finer details of the warts are dissimilar between the two species.