Octarrhena gracilis

Octarrhena gracilis (L.O.Williams) Schuit., Blumea 48 (2003) 512

Basionym: Chitonanthera gracilis

Small epiphyte, to about 15 cm long. Stems slender, flexuose, weakly fractiflex; internodes about 0.5 cm long. Leaves 0.8-1.5 by 0.1-0.2 cm, linear to elliptic-linear, acute, falcate or straight, spreading, laterally compressed, articulate; leaf-sheaths covering the stem, usually ancipitous. Inflorescence elongated, much exceeding the subtending leaf, 3-9 cm long, from the leaf-axils, several- to many-flowered. Floral bracts 0.15-0.3 cm long, lanceolate-triangular, acute or aristate, cucullate, decurrent on the rachis, smooth or verrucose outside, glabrous. Sepals united into a tube for a short distance at the base. Median sepal about 0.2-0.25 by 0.15-0.2 cm, ovate to ovate-orbicular, obtuse or acute, fleshy, 1-nerved. Lateral sepals 0.2-0.25 by 0.15-0.2 cm, ovate-orbicular to subtriangular, obtuse or acute, fleshy, 1-nerved. Petals about 0.1 by 0.05 cm, obovate to oblanceolate, obtuse to subtruncate, sometimes obscurely unguiculate, 1-nerved, puberulous. Lip 0.2-0.25 by 0.1-0.15 cm, adnate to the column; the basal part cup-shaped and very fleshy, 0.1-0.15 cm diam., puberulous; terminal part about 0.1-0.15 by 0.08-0.1 cm, sagittate, obtuse, the basal angles sharp, not fleshy, puberulous, attached to the underside of the basal part. Column about 0.05 cm long and as broad or broader. Pollinia eight, of two sizes, the larger subreniform about 0.25 mm long and 0.12 mm broad, the smaller broadly reniform, 0.1-0.15 mm long and 0.08-0.1 mm broad. (After Williams, 1946)

Colours: Flowers vivid brick red.

Habitat: Epiphyte in montane forest.

Flowering time in the wild: April.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 486-66M.JPG.

Cultivation: Probably intermediate growing epiphyte.