Phreatia subalpina

Phreatia subalpina P.Royen, Alp. Fl. New Guinea 2 (1979) 783, fig. 27

Type: Brass 9086 (holo BM; iso L)

Terrestrial, up to 20 cm high herb, erect, in dense clumps. Stems simple or branched, 6-10 cm long, lower parts densely covered with sheaths, in upper part with leaves and inflorescences. Leaves 5-6.5 cm long, limb erect-patent, coriaceous, glabrous, linear, 3-3.5 cm long, 2 mm wide when spread out, often V-shaped in cross-section, equally 2-lobed at tip, lobes obtuse, midrib grooved above, prominent below, margin narrowly revolute and scattered irregularly papillate; sheaths widely tubular, 10 mm long, ribbed, midrib winged, margin membranous, usually crinkled and darker coloured than rest of sheath. Inflorescences and flowers glabrous, axillary, 7-8 cm long, many-flowered. Peduncle 3.5-4 cm long, stout, terete in lower part, more trigonous in upper part, with 2 or 3 tubular, 3-4 mm long bracts mainly in upper half. Rachis 3.5-4 cm long, trigonous, subflexuose. Floral bracts ovate, boatshaped, 2.5-3 mm long, caudate-acuminate. Pedicels 0.5 mm long. Ovary cylindric-clavate, subtrigonous, 2 mm long. Flowers with spreading sepals and petals when mature. Median sepal elliptic-ovate, slightly boatshaped, 1.3 by 0.6 mm, obtuse, indistinctly 1-nerved. Lateral sepals obliquely broadly oblong-ovate, 1.3 by 1 mm, acutish, base widened and attached to column-foot, forming a short mentum, very slightly connate to each other at very base only, 1-nerved. Lateral petals elliptic, 1 by 0.5 mm, obtusish, 1-nerved. Lip ovoid-slipperlike, 1 mm long, obtuse, base shortly clawed, 3-nerved. Column short, 0.5 mm long. Column-foot short and curved. Anther flattish trapezoid, 0.5 by 0.6 by 0.2 mm, retuse at either end. Pollinia 8, subglobose. Capsule not seen. (After van Royen 1979)

Colours: Flowers greenish white.

Habitat: In moss cushions in montane forest; 2700 to 3225 m.

Flowering time in the wild: August, October.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia). See map: 549-254M.JPG.

Cultivation: Cool growing terrestrial, requires shaded position.