Genus Sarcanthopsis

Sarcanthopsis Garay,
Bot. Mus. Leafl. 23 (1972) 198

Monopodial epiphytic or lithophytic plants. Stem elongated. Leaves many, sheathing at the base, glabrous, dorso-ventrally flattened, articulate, duplicate, leathery. Inflorescence lateral, a panicle. Flowers medium-sized, resupinate, cream with brownish spots. Sepals free. Petals free, fairly similar to the sepals. Lip adnate to the column, without spur, concave in the centre, apical half of the lip making a sharp angle with the basal half, both parts very fleshy. Column-foot absent. Pollinia 4, solid-waxy, caudicles absent, stipe present, viscidium present.

East Malesia, Solomon Islands, east to Fiji and the Horne Islands. About 3 or 4 species; in New Guinea two species.

Epiphytes in lowland forest.

The name of this genus, the Sarcanthus-like, is not very well chosen, as first of all the genus is not particularly Sarcanthus-like, and secondly, because Sarcanthus is a synonym of Cleisostoma. Members of this genus were formerly included in Vandopsis but the structure of the lip is somewhat different. Species of Sarcanthopsis also have smaller, more dull-coloured flowers than Vandopsis. These tall plants are rarely cultivated, but their potential in hybridization programmes perhaps deserves to be more fully explored.