Bulbophyllum nephropetalum

Bulbophyllum nephropetalum Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 16 (1919) 125

Type: Kempter s.n. (Kaiser Wilhelmsland, area behind Vanimo) (holo B, lost); neo Jongejan 1342 (L)

Rhizome creeping, 1-3 mm diam. Roots spreading. Pseudobulbs discoid to ovoid, 0.5-1.5 cm apart, 0.2-0.4 by 0.2-0.4 cm, not laterally flattened. Petiole 2-5 mm. Leaf blade elliptic, 2-5 by 0.3-1 cm, index 3-8, tip acute. Inflorescence usually single, up to 28 cm, up to 55-flowered. Peduncle 3-5 cm, verrucose, bracts 3, the longest c. 4 mm. Rachis erect or arching, distinctly zigzag bent, up to 23 cm, verrucose. Floral bracts triangular, c. 3.5-6 mm, tip obtuse to acuminate, abx. with an erose median keel or not. Pedicel and ovary c. 5 mm, with the node c. 2 mm from the floral bract, surface verrucose. Flowers scattered, 1 open at the time, widely opening. Median sepal ovate, c. 4.5 by 3.2-4 mm, index 1.2-1.4, tip an incurved, subulate projection c. 0.8 mm long; margins ciliate; rather thin; surface glabrous; abx. with a deeply lacerate median keel. Lateral sepals oblique, 4-4.5 by 2.3-2.5 mm, index 1.6-2, tip apiculate; margins finely erose-ciliolate; otherwise as the median sepal. Petals with a claw c. 0.8 mm long; blade approx. orbicular, 1.8-2.5 by 1.8-2.5 mm, index c. 1, base cordate; tip rounded; margins ciliate; thin; surface glabrous. Lip 3-lobed, median lobe slightly curved, general outline obovate, 2-2.5 by 0.5-0.8 mm, index 3-4 (not spread), tip incurved, obtuse; margins approx. glabrous, papillose near the tip; thick; adx. concave and with a small ridge near the base bordered at each side by a slit, ridge in front abruptly ending into a small concavity bordered by 2 more ridges which in front converge, surface approx. glabrous; abx. without a median ridge, surface locally papillose; basal lobes with the frontal margin inserted along the margin of the lip; backwards pointing, somewhat falcate, narrowly triangular, tip acute; glabrous; thin. Column from ovary to the tip of the stelidia c. 2 mm; stigma somewhat protruding at its base, orbicular; column-foot with an inconspicuous, central knob close to the attachment of the lip. Stelidia straight, narrowly triangular, c. 0.5 mm; tip acute; with an inconspicuous, rounded, erose wing along the upper margin and a distinct, somewhat falcate, obtuse tooth along the lower margin. Anther abx. with a ridge towards its base; front margin not protruding. (After Vermeulen, 1993)

Colours: Sepals white or pink, suffused with purple towards the margins; tip of median sepal yellow. Petals white or pink, with a purple vein. Lip white at the base, purple at the tip.

Habitat: Epiphyte in montane forest; 2000-2360 m.

Flowering time in the wild: August.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea; see map 96-1237M.jpg.

Cultivation: Cool growing epiphyte.