Phreatia matthewsii

Phreatia matthewsii Rchb.f., Otia Bot. Hamburg. 1 (1878) 55

Type: Matthews s.n. (Society Isl., IV-1830); Wilkes expedition (or Rich, Pickering or Agati) s.n. (Tahiti) (holo W?)

Epiphytic, erect, small, not branching, 3-5 cm high; roots filiform, elongated, flexuose, glabrous. Stem very short, almost lacking, entirely covered with the leaf-sheaths. Leaves distichous, erect-patent, obliquely linear-ligulate, apiculate, at the base narrowed into a slender petiole, rather fleshy, 2-3.5 by 0.2-0.3 cm, leaf-sheaths dilated. Inflorescence erect, laxly several-flowered, secund, about as long as the leaves, with a few distant peduncle-scales, glabrous. Floral bracts lanceolate, acuminate, surpassing the pedicellate ovary, glabrous. Flowers hardly more than 0.1 cm diam. Median sepal ovate, obtuse, glabrous. Lateral sepals as long as the median sepal, shortly acuminate, dilated along the front margin. Petals obliquely ovate, oblong, subobtuse, glabrous, somewhat smaller than the sepals. Lip obovate-cuneate, at the apex slightly bilobulate, notched, with a minute tooth in the sinus, glabrous, slightly longer than the sepals. Column short; foot very short; clinandrium low; rostellum erect, minutely and indistinctly 4-lobulate, with equal lobules. Anther reniform, in front broadly obtuse, glabrous; pollinia obliquely pear-shaped; stipe linear, as long as the pollinia; ovary shortly pedicellate, clavate, glabrous, hardly more than 0.1 cm long. (After Schlechter, 1905, as Phreatia inversa Schltr.)

Colours: Flower pale green.

Habitat: Epiphyte in lower montane forest; 600 m.

Flowering time in the wild: July.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea), Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 549-139M.JPG.

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte.