Bulbophyllum melilotus

Bulbophyllum melilotus J.J.Sm., Nova Guinea 14 (1929) 455, pl. 74, fig. 102

Type: Bogor cult. (Feuilletau de Bruyn) 25

Rhizome creeping. Pseudobulbs close together, arranged in rows, making an acute angle with the rhizome, erect, ovoid, its apex contracted, c. 1-1.1 by 0.4-0.5 cm at the base; 1-leaved. Leaf erect, petiolate, lanceolate, obtuse, apiculate, convex, fleshy, c. 5.5-6 by 1.3-1.7 cm; base gradually narrowed into the petiole; above on either side of the midrib grooved; underneath slightly obtuse, prominent; petiole channelled, c. 1.2-1.7 cm long. Inflorescences 1-flowered fascicled; peduncle short, thin, 0.75 cm long. Floral bract tubular, apiculate, above keeled, 0.32 cm long. Flower very small. Median sepal making an obtuse angle with the ovary, in the middle obtusely angled, incurved, oblong, concave, 3-nerved, slightly more than 0.8 by 0.33 cm; base slightly contracted; apex slightly acuminate, acute; margin ciliate; top part inside long papillose-puberulous, especially above somewhat fleshy. Lateral sepals making an obtuse angle with the ovary, porrect, parallel, horizontal, obliquely oblong, shortly obtuse, apiculate, somewhat fleshy, 0.192 by 0.37 cm; the facing margins contiguous but not connate; inside except the base papillose. Petals very small, porrect, obliquely oblong, subfalcate, subobtuse, convex, except for the base papillose, 0.18 by 0.06 cm. Lip small, mobile, shorter than the column, 3-lobed, 0.13 cm long; hypochile in outline subcubical, with truncate back, obtusely angled hollow, the lateral lobes erect, short, as wide as the hypochile, broadly rounded, their posterior margins incurved and contiguous; mid-lobe porrect, strongly laterally compressed, in lateral view subtriangular; upper margin strongly rounded; elongated in a porrect, acute, subulate apicula, above the towards the base inconspicuously longitudinally grooved, above pale purple; underneath white, dark purple-dotted. Column moderately long, slightly curved, on either side of the stigma slightly rounded-dilated, 0.24 cm long; clinandrium concave; stelidia porrect, parallel, terete-subulate, obtuse, somewhat surpassing the anther; stigma small, longitudinal; column-foot short, making an obtuse angle with the ovary, incurved, its apex truncate and slightly excavate, 0.07 cm long. Anther cucullate, 0.07 cm long; apex triangular-rostrate and obtusely angled, recurved. Pollinia strongly laterally compressed, obovate; base acute. Ovary 6-grooved, 0.35 cm long; pedicel in 0.3 cm above the base articulate, c. 3.5 long. (After Smith, 1929)

Colours: Pseudobulbs green. Leaf above shining green; underneath pale pale punctate and opaque. Peduncle purple. Floral bract pale purple, slightly punctuate. Flower smell slightly unpleasant. Median sepal; yellowish-white; nerves in 1/3rd lower part purple; base on either side inside the margins with a longitudinal purple band. Lateral sepals in 2/5th lower part purple, between the nerves white, the upper part yellowish-white tinged purplish. Petals with the top half above the midrib dark purple, below the midrib the apical half purple and the posterior base purple excepted white. Lip, white, purple-dotted, the hollow part ochrish; lateral lobes ochre marked with dark purple; apicula white, purple-punctate. Column pale green, underneath pale, especially at the base and in front lower longitudinally purple-punctate; column-foot purple-punctate. Anther pale green. Pollinia somewhat translucent yellow. Ovary 6-grooved, purplish; pedicel pale purplish.

Habitat: Epiphyte in lowland forest.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); see map 96-1124M.jpg.

Cultivation: Warm growing epiphyte.