Phalaenopsis amabilis (L.) Blume, Bijdr. (1825) 294; Tab. & Pl. Jav. Orchid. (1825) t. 44
Basionym: Epidendrum amabile
Roots many from stem below the leaves, very extensive, often over 1 m long, up to 0.8 cm diam. (usually 0.3-0.4 cm), rather flattened, smooth, branching. Stem usually descending with up-turned apex, occasionally branched near base, up to 30 cm long, 1.5 cm wide, but usually much shorter, covered by the overlapping leaf-sheaths. Leaves 2-8, crowded, distichous, more or less pendulous in large plants, up to 30 cm by 7 cm (usually around 20 by 6 cm), oblong to obovate, fleshy; tip rounded and unequally bilobed, the sharp-edged prominent keel sometimes projects briefly beyond apex. Inflorescences 1-3, emerging laterally either from leaf axil or below lowest leaf, erect and arching to 75 cm long, paniculate with usually 1-3 branches each with up to 10 flowers in a moderately spaced raceme. Peduncle 0.4-0.5 cm across, with up to 7 peduncle-scales that are largest and most sheathing at its base. Floral bract c. 0.5 cm long, triangular, deeply concave, persistent. Pedicel with ovary 2-3.5 cm long. Flower widely opening, 5-7 cm across. Sepals and petals clawed at base. Median sepal erect, elliptic, 2.7 by 2.1 cm, obtuse. Lateral sepals obliquely spreading, 3.1 by 2 cm, obliquely ovate, tapering to acute acuminate apex. Petals spreading, very broad, angular-ovate to subquadrate, 2.7 by 3.1 cm, obtuse with notches on margin near apex. Lip porrect with a short claw, 3-lobed, 2.2 by 3.5 cm (when flattened); lateral lobes erect, curving inwards to partly embrace column, oblong with clawed base, forward margin sometimes notched, obtuse; mid-lobe base broad with laterally-projecting triangular arms, then tapers to bluntly rounded upturned apex which has two long filamentous undulating lateral arms that curve back over mid-lobe; disc with large bilobed callus that is diagonally extended backwards on the upper basal corners. Column 0.8 cm long, broad, apex forming a hood over the downward-projecting anther, lateral arms short and obtuse; foot perpendicular, linear, 0.6 cm long. (After O’Byrne, 1994)
Colours: Leaves green. Peduncle green to dark purple with white spots. Pedicel with ovary white suffused pink or green. Flower white, callus on lip yellow, on the claw and base of lateral lobes with golden yellow markings, the yellow parts with reddish streaks and spots. Column white, anther white or pinkish.
Habitat: Epiphyte in lowland forest; 50 to 900 m.
Flowering time in the wild: April, June, July, August, September, October, November, December.
Distribution: Malesia (Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Sulawesi, Lesser Sunda Islands, Moluccas, New Guinea, Philippines, Mentawai Islands), Australia.
Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea. See map: 545-6M.JPG.
Cultivation: Warm growing epiphyte, requires shaded position.