Bulbophyllum lepanthiflorum

Bulbophyllum lepanthiflorum Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 1 (1913) 876

Type: Schlechter 16607 (syn B, lost); 19190 (syn B, lost; iso E)

Rhizome pendulous, up to 100 cm long, 1.2-1.8 mm diam. (seemingly thicker with loosely imbricate, finely papillose scales). Roots creeping over the rhizome. Pseudobulbs cylindrical to ellipsoid, 1.2-2.5 cm apart, 0.3-0.6 by 0.2-0.4 cm, hardly flattened. Petiole 2-4 mm. Leaf blade ovate to elliptic, 3-6 by c. 0.2 cm, index 1.3-2, tip acute to acuminate. Inflorescences often many together on a sympodium, pendulous, 1.2-2.5 cm, up to 15-flowered. Peduncle 0.8-1.2 cm; bracts c. 4, the longest 4-8 mm. Rachis 0.4-0.6 cm. Floral bracts triangular, 3-3.5 mm, tip acuminate. Pedicel and ovary c. 6 mm, with the node 1-3 mm from the floral bract. Flowers scattered, 1 or a few open at the time, widely opening. Median sepal elliptic to obovate, 2.5-4 by 2-2.8 mm, index 1.2-1.4, tip an incurved, subulate projection c. 1 mm long; glabrous; thin; abx. sometimes with an inconspicuous, somewhat erose median keel. Lateral sepals oblique, approx. orbicular, 2-2.8 by 1.8-2.8 mm, index 1-1.2, tip an incurved, subulate projection c. 1.2 mm long; otherwise as the median sepal. Petals often with a claw up to 0.2 mm long; blade obliquely elliptic, 0.8-2 by 0.6-1.4 mm, index 1.2-1.5, tip retuse to rounded; margins denticulate; very thin; surface glabrous. Lip 3-lobed, median lobe straight, general outline elliptic, c. 1 by 0.6 mm, index c. 1.6 (not spread), tip rounded; margins as well as abaxial surface densely set with large, elongated vesicles which gradually change into small papillae towards the centre of the abaxial side; thick; adx. concave and with 3 parallel, short ridges near the base, which in front are clasped between 2 more ridges which in front converge and in the back protrude as lobes, surface finely papillose towards the margins; abx. without a median ridge; basal lobes with the frontal margins converging over the adaxial surface of the lip; falcate, narrowly triangular, tip obtuse; glabrous; thin. Column from ovary to the tip of the stelidia 0.5-0.7 mm; stigma hardly protruding at its base, elliptic; column-foot without accessories. Stelidia triangular, c. 0.2 mm; tip acute; with a distinct, forwards projecting, approx. narrowly triangular, obtuse tooth along the lower margin. Anther abx. with a ridge towards its base; front margin not protruding. (After Vermeulen, 1993)

Colours: Rhizome scales dark reddish brown when dry. Sepals and petals pale yellow. Lip red purple, with or without a white tip and basal lobes. Flowers also entirely white.

Habitat: Epiphyte in lowland forest; 0-1800 m.

Flowering time in the wild: January, March, May, June, July, October.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea; see map 96-976M.jpg.

Cultivation: Warm growing epiphyte, requires shaded position.