Bulbophyllum elephantinum

Bulbophyllum elephantinum J.J.Sm., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 12 (1913) 398

Type: Gjellerup 1158 (holo BO)

Rhizome creeping, terete, 0.5 cm diam. Roots rather thick. Pseudobulbs wide apart, obliquely ovoid, in cross-section rhombic, c. 2.6 by 1.75 cm; 1-leaved. Leaf oblong, fleshy-coriaceous, rigid, slightly over to by 3.5 cm; base narrowed in a conduplicate-channelled, c. 1.75 cm long petiole; apex recurved, obtuse, slightly retuse, apiculate; midrib above grooved, underneath obtuse, prominent. Inflorescences 1-flowered, 2 from the base of the pseudobulbs, erect; peduncle in cross-section elliptic, c. 15 by 0.26 cm, with c. 5 small, tol the apex more lax and larger, tubular, inflated, laterally compressed, acute, keeled, impressed punctate sheaths. Floral bract similar to the upper sheaths, acuminate, c. 3.5 cm long. Flower very large for the genus, when not flattened c. 11 cm long. Median sepal laxly wavy, in total when flattened slightly over 13 cm long; basal third broadly elliptic, strongly cucullate-concave, when flattened suborbicular, c. 4.5 cm long and wide; margins strongly incurved, margins extreme rursum recurved; apex contracted in an elongated, contiguous tubular, outside densely minutely papillose, inside long papillose, dorsally strongly obtusely keeled, c. 9.2 cm long tail with acute, hooked-incurved apex and incurved margins, the nerves 5-6, dorsally on either side prominent, inside and outside prominently rectangularly reticulate-veined, between the veins somewhat shiny. Lateral sepals smaller than the median one, narrowly triangular, when flattened c. 9.5 by 1.25 cm above the base; above the base with two incurved lobes; facing margins from near the base to the apex connate, forming a small window, the non-facing margins laxly adjoining but not connate, sigmoid; apex recurved, sublinear, gradually narrowed to the top, acute, concave, the margins in the basal part undulate, dorsally papillose-puberulous; nerves outside, especially in the basal part, prominent. Petals very small, parallel, appressed to the column, somewhat fleshy, in total slightly over 1 by 0.57 cm; base obliquely suborbicular; lower margin rounded, upper margin rounded-sublobata, concave; apex contacted in a subfalcate-decurved, subulate, acute, convex, acuminate, 0.47 cm long tail; nerves 3, the outer nerves forked, all inside prominent. Lip by a narrow, linear, thin ligament attached to the column-foot, mobile, small, strongly curved, from the base triangular, long narrowed, obtuse, when not flattened 0.34 by 0.2 cm; sides in the basal part concave; above channelled, the channel towards the base dilated; above the middle hairy, the apex glabrous, on either side of the channel convex. Column short, thick, laterally compressed, distinctly narrower than the ovary, 0.55 cm long, dorsally convex, underneath concave, the margins obtusely angled, dilated, parallel; clinandrium on either side denticulate, filament elongated, oblong-triangular, acute; stelidia somewhat shorter tghan the filament, slightly curved upwards, subulate, upper margin with few teeth, lower margin with rounded-dilated base. Anther cucullate, curved, slightly laterally compressed; apex incurved and on either side angular, somewhat dilated, truncate, subretuse; connective convex-ribbed, 0.16 cm long. Pollinia 4, laterally compressed, outside convex, 0.13 cm long; the inner ones much smaller.; stigma longitudinal, oblong; column-foot making an obtuse angle with the ovary, straight, oblong-quadrangular, to the apex somewhat narrowed, concave, the apex free, rectangular, incurved, transversely elliptic, slightly retuse, when not flattened 0.26 cm long, underneath to the ovary 0.46 cm long. Ovary thick, 6-grooved, minutely impressed finely punctuate- scurfy, c. 1.75 cm long; pedicel stout, puncticulate, c. 4 cm long, c. 1.7 cm above the base articulate. (After Smith, 1916)

Colours: Flower red with irregular brown-red spots.

Habitat: Epiphyte in montane forest; 1800-1900 m.

Flowering time in the wild: April, October.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea; see map 96-575M.jpg.

Cultivation: Cool growing epiphyte.