Phreatia nutans

Phreatia nutans J.J.Sm., Nova Guinea 14 (1929) 490, pl. 82, fig. 131

Type: Lam 1687 (holo L)

Rhizome stout, creeping, terete, 0.2-0.25 cm diam., initially covered with tubular sheaths. Pseudobulbs 0.25-1.2 cm apart, very small, obliquely depressed ovoid, 0.4-0.5 cm high, 0.45-0.55 cm diam., 2-leaved. Leaves erect, recurved, lanceolate, somewhat fleshy, 3.75 by 0.8 cm, obtuse, almost equally triangular-bidentate with a conical incurved apicule between the teeth, narrowed at the base and conduplicate, above on either side of the mid-vein convex, channelled, with the mid-vein prominent underneath, the lowest leaf attached to the pseudobulb, larger; sheath resembling a petiole, laterally flattened, grooved towards the apex, 1 cm long. Inflorescences arising at the base of the pseudobulb, erect, elongated, densely many-flowered, cylindrical; peduncle 18.5-21 cm long, in the basal part with c. 6-10 tubular, acuminate peduncle-scales, in the upper part with 5-10 bract-like peduncle-scales; rachis strongly nodding, with many deep grooves, glabrous, 4-5 cm long, across the flowers 1 cm diam. Floral bracts lanceolate-triangular, acute, concave, 1-nerved, to 0.5 cm long, the upper ones smaller. Flowers turned to all sides, 0.4 cm wide. Median sepal revolute, oblong-triangular, subacute, 1-nerved, 0.28 by 0.14 cm. Lateral sepals divergent, making an acute angle, obliquely ovate, above slightly falcate, somewhat acuminate, acute, with one nerve dorsally prominent, almost 0.3 cm long, along the front margin 0.35 cm long, 0.18 cm wide; mentum short, pointing backwards, broadly rounded, in front widely opened. Petals porrect, divergent, parallel to the lateral sepals, obliquely ovate-oblong, at the apex channelled, subacute, slightly minutely erose, 1-nerved, 0.23 by 0.1 cm. Lip making an obtuse angle with the column-foot, concave, glabrous, 3-nerved, when flattened 0.2 cm long; claw very short, equilaterally trapezium-shaped, 0.05 cm long, at the base 0.1 cm wide, at the apex 0.08 cm wide, at the base on either side with a small tooth, without callus; blade in outline semi-orbicular, equilaterally trapezium-shaped, 0.15 by 0.24 cm, at the apex produced into a very short obtuse lobule, at the base truncate with the basal angles obtuse, lateral margins minutely crenulate. Column very short, dorsally convex, 0.1 cm long; clinandrium cucullate, suborbicular, frequently on one side or sometimes on both sides notched; rostellum erect, rather small, bidentate; stigma transversely slit-like; column-foot making a right angle with the ovary and the column, short, straight, quadrangular, dilated towards the apex, truncate, clearly distinct from the claw of the lip, 0.05 cm long. Anther cucullate, 5-angular, at the apex almost right angled-acute, at the base shortly 4-lobulate, connective broadly convex, finely 3-ribbed, 0.07 cm wide; pollinia suborbicular. Ovary 6-ribbed-angular, 0.25 cm long; pedicel thinner, 0.1 cm long. (After Smith, 1929)

Colours: Leaves bright green, shining above, dull below. Peduncle and bracts light green or yellowish green. Flower buds light green, becoming bright yellow. Flower white. Ovary and fruit green.

Habitat: Terrestrial and lithophytic in subalpine grassland; 1800 to 3200 m.

Flowering time in the wild: April, August, October, December.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea. See map: 549-168M.JPG.

Cultivation: Cool growing terrestrial, requires light position.