Bulbophyllum aemulum

Bulbophyllum aemulum Schltr. in K.Schum. & Lauterb., Nachtr. Fl. Deutsch. Schutzgeb. Südsee (1905) 195

Type: Schlechter 14056 (holo B, lost)

Rhizome short, ascending in mature plants, 1-6 mm diam., sections between pseudobulbs 4-12 mm long. Pseudobulbs close together, ovoid to cylindrical, 8-24 by 2-4 mm. Petiole 18-23 mm long. Leaf blade elliptic, 51-145 by 9-27 mm, index 2.4-6.5, tip acuminate, leaf surface glabrous. Racemes erect, generally shorter than the leaves, 2-5 flowered. Peduncle 39-93 mm long, bracts 5-9, the longest 5-9 mm long. Rachis flexuose, 5 to 22 mm long, internode between the lowermost flowers 5 mm long, 1.5 by as long as the tubular part of the first floral bract. Floral bracts funnel-shaped, oblique, laterally flattened, 6-10 mm long, tip acuminate, abaxial keel distinct. Pedicel and ovary 4-10 mm long, articulation 1-2 mm distant from the floral bract. Flowers 2 to 4 open at the time, widely opening. Median sepal recurved, ovate, 8.7-11.5 by 4.5-5.8 mm, index 1.7-2.2, tip acuminate, base rather broadly attached; thin, glabrous, 7-veined. Lateral sepals spreading, oblique, about triangular, 11.5-14 by 6.5-8.3 mm, index 1.5-1.9, with a rounded to acute tooth proximally along the upper margin, base broadly attached; 5-9-veined; otherwise as the median sepal. Petals recurved, oblique, ovate, 5-7.5 by 2.5-3 mm, index 1.6-2.8, tip acute to acuminate, base broadly attached; thin, glabrous, 3-5-veined. Lip distinctly recurved at 1/3-1/2 of its length, general outline ovate to elliptic, 9.7-10.8 by 3.2-3.6 mm, index c. 3 (not spread), tip acute; rather thick, glabrous; adaxially slightly concave towards the base, at the base with two slight, partly fused calli which continue as a single gradually narrowing median ridge up to 1/3-1/2 of the length of the lip, with two more obtuse ridges starting close to the margin of about 1/3 of the length of the lip, converging towards its tip and continuing over 1/3-1/2 of its length, top part of the lip convex; abaxially approx. without a median ridge. Column from ovary to the tip of the stelidia 3-3.3 mm long, stigma approx. orbicular; column-foot without accessories. Stelidia prominent, about ovate, tip acute to acuminate or minutely 2-3-denticulate. (After de Witte & Vermeulen, in press)

Colours: Leaves green without darker green margins, adaxial surface dull, abaxially without minute white dots. Floral bracts pale green with dark dots and lines. Sepals and petals white. Lip cream-coloured with red purple lines, sometimes with a yellowish midrib. Stigma pale green. Anther creamy white.

Habitat: Epiphyte in lowland forest; 150-900 m.

Flowering time in the wild: January, February, March, April, May, June, August, September, October, November.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea; see map 96-59M.jpg.

Cultivation: Warm growing epiphyte, requires shaded position.