Octarrhena obovata

Octarrhena obovata (J.J.Sm.) P.Royen, Alp. Fl. New Guinea 2 (1979) 744, fig. 257

Basionym: Chitonanthera obovata

Plant very small, terrestrial, erect, stems branched in the basal part, only rooting at the base, flexuose, thin, 2.5-7.5 cm long, internodes 0.3-0.75 cm long or less. Leaves distichous, articulated, erect-patent, frequently slightly falcate-slightly incurved, equitant, laterally compressed, subulate, in about the upper half slightly (in the smaller leaves less conspicuously) contracted, acute, with the apex on underside declining, frequently subapiculate, carnose, 0.9-1.2 cm long, above the base 0.14-0.2 cm across; sheaths tubular, somewhat surpassing the internodes, laterally compressed, narrowed towards the base, at the apex and at the point of attachment obliquely truncate, carnose, 0.18 to slightly more than 0.2 cm wide. Inflorescences axillary, erect, elongated, laxly few-flowered, peduncle thin, 3.6-5.8 cm long, with two small tubular scales; rachis nodding, probably straight in the fruiting stage, angular, not winged, sparsely finely warty, 1-2.8 cm long; internodes to 0.8 cm long, upper ones smaller. Floral bracts triangular, acute, concave, to 0.3 cm long. Flowers 3-8, small. Sepals at the base very shortly connate. Median sepal orbicular-ovate, obtuse, 1-nerved, 0.17 cm long, slightly more than 0.15 cm wide. Lateral sepals obliquely subovate, 1-nerved, at the apex slightly contracted, 0.18 by 0.15 cm. Petals very small, obovate, obtuse, concave, puberulous, 1-nerved, 0.1 by 0.05-0.06 cm. Lip inserted at the base of the pouch of the column, small, broadly oblong, 0.15 by 0.07 cm, at the apex rounded, at the base subtruncate, shortly contracted, papillose, concave, underneath convex, 1-nerved. Column low, with the fertilized ovary making an obtuse angle, 0.05 cm long, in front extended into a conspicuous, porrect, elliptic, concave, in front high carnose, in front not callose-thickened, entirely papillose, finely ciliate pouch, including the pouch 0.15 cm long, clinandrium divided into two erect, obliquely falcate-triangular, obtuse, concave, ciliolate lobes that clasp the anther. Anther cucullate, transverse, at the base 4-lobulate, at the apex broadly truncate, 0.04 cm wide. Pollinia 8, 4 larger and 4 smaller. Rostellum subulate. Ovary (fertilised) obconical, 0.2 cm long; pedicel 0.07 cm long. Fruit very shortly pedicellate, crowned by the closed flower, oblong-obovoid, obtuse, at the base acute, 0.33 cm long. (After Smith, 1929)

Colours: Flowers orange.

Habitat: Terrestrial in open subalpine vegetation; 3200 to 3260 m.

Flowering time in the wild: October.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia). See map: 486-41M.JPG.

Cultivation: Cool growing terrestrial, requires light position.