Octarrhena calceiformis

Octarrhena calceiformis (J.J.Sm.) P.Royen, Alp. Fl. New Guinea 2 (1979) 742, fig. 256

Basionym: Chitonanthera calceiformis

Stems elongated, branched, straight, rooting even between the leaves, slightly flexuose, thin, to 40 cm long, internodes to 0.75 cm long, upper ones becoming smaller. Leaves articulated, distichous, patent to erect-patent, laterally compressed, more or less slightly falcate-incurved, carnose, obliquely oblong-ovate, the lower ones narrower and lanceolate, acute, the sides convex, punctate, 0.35-0.8 by 0.2-0.24 cm; sheaths tubular, laterally compressed, at the apex oblique, carnose, punctate, 0.28 cm wide. Inflorescences axillary, laxly 4-9-flowered; peduncle filiform, above verruculose, 0.75-3.5 cm long, with c. 3-4 small tubular scales; rachis nodding, triangular, 1.3-1.9 cm long. Floral bracts appressed, at the base angular-orbicular, long narrowly triangular-acuminate, acute, concave, to 0.38 by 0.24 cm. Flowers turned to all sides, 0.55 cm diam. Sepals widely patent, at the base shortly connate, convex, 1-nerved, the whole synsepal when flattened 0.64 cm wide, 0.73 cm long. Median sepal broadly orbicular-ovate, shortly obtuse acuminate, in the middle 0.38 by 0.4 cm, for 0.1 cm adnate to the lateral sepals. Lateral sepals subobliquely orbicular-ovate, at the apex narrowed, subobtuse, 0.34 by 0.35 cm. Petals very small, appressed to the column, porrect, obliquely elliptic, broadly obtuse, minutely papillose-ciliolate, on either side of the small longitudinal channel convex, slightly more than 0.1 cm long, almost 0.1 cm wide. Lip adnate to the underside of the pouch of the column, small, entire, slightly decurved, at the apex slightly incurved, ovate-triangular to ovate, obtuse, slightly concave, inside papillose, 0.17 by 0.13 cm. Column very short, transverse, 0.1 cm long, 0.13 cm wide, in front with a large, porrect pouch, the pouch much surpassing the column, oblong-quadrangular, strongly hollowed out, papillose, 0.24 cm long, 0.22 cm wide, containing the stigma, with erect, in front transversely truncate-connate, in the basal part obtusely angled, above irregular margins, the pouch underneath convex, carnose, at the apex prolonged into a transversely quadrangular, convex, slightly longitudinally ribbed, inside verruculose and rugulose callus; clinandrium hollowed out, divided into two obliquely quadrangular, slightly falcate-incurved lobules, thin-textured in the basal part, with irregular and ciliolate apical margins. Anther inserted between the lobes of the clinandrium, transversely cucullate, 0.06 cm wide, on either side obtusely subradiate-trilobulate, connective obliquely conical with porrect apex. Rostellum narrowly triangular, tooth-like. Ovary obconical, triangular with a small rib on the sides, rather thick, 0.17 cm long; pedicel angular, 0.15 cm long. (After Smith, 1929)

Colours: Roots brownish white. Young leaves light green, later dark green. Peduncle and bracts yellow or greenish. Sepals and petals rather dark yellow, lip velvety orange or yellow at the base, with a dirty purple tip and a velvety brown appendix; column yellow, ovary and fruit brownish yellow.

Habitat: Terrestrial in open subalpine vegetation, also epiphytic on isolated trees; 3200 to 3260 m.

Flowering time in the wild: October, November.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia). See map: 486-9M.JPG.

Cultivation: Cool growing terrestrial, requires light position.