Platanthera elliptica

Platanthera elliptica J.J.Sm., Bull. Jard. Bot. Buitenzorg, sér. 2, 13 (1914) 53

Type: Pulle 993 (holo L)

Flowering plant 9.5-23 cm tall. Rhizome short; roots few, thick, villose. Sterile shoot 2-leaved, with a few acuminate cataphylls at the base. Leaves erect, elliptic or oblong-elliptic, at the apex narrowed or subacuminate, at the base weakly petiolate-narrowed, 2.75-3.75 cm long, when dried 0.5-1.1 cm wide. Flowering shoot erect, laxly several-flowered, at the base densely covered with cataphylls and with one or two elliptic leaves similar to those on the sterile shoot; peduncle 7-13.5 cm long; peduncle-scales small, 4-7, distant, not tubular, appressed, with the apex erect-patent, oblong-ovate, acuminate, very minutely finely erose-denticulate, concave, to 1.5-2 cm long, the upper ones similar to the floral bracts; rachis 3.75-6.25 cm long. Floral bracts laxly appressed, oblong-elliptic, acuminate, very minutely finely erose-denticulate, concave, 3-nerved, outer nerves 3-forked, along the mid-rib dorsally prominently, 1.1 by 0.4 cm. Flowers 7-12, erect-patent, in rehydrated herbarium material 1.5 cm long. Median sepal ovate-orbicular, obtuse, concave, in the apical part very minutely finely erose-denticulate, dorsally with 3 distinctly prominent nerves, 0.53 by 0.52 cm. Lateral sepals deflexed, almost parallel, slightly falcate-divergent, obliquely oblong, narrowed towards the apex, obtuse, at the base shortly cuneate, strongly obliquely convex, especially along the inner margin strongly recurved, at the apex very minutely finely erose-denticulate, the margins otherwise irregular, dorsally with 3 prominent nerves, 0.7-0.73 by 0.26-0.28 cm. Petals erect, obliquely ovate-triangular, subfalcate, narrowed towards the apex, obtuse, retuse, 3-nerved, the outer nerves forked, just above the base 4-nerved, 0.58-0.6 by 0.33-0.36 cm. Lip entire, spurred; blade deflexed, at the apex slightly incurved, at the base slightly suborbicular-dilated elongated-triangular, obtuse, convex, somewhat fleshy, 0.68 cm by 0.27 cm; spur pendulous, probably subcylindrical, not clavate, obtuse, as long as the ovary, 1 cm long. Column 0.3 cm long; auricles slightly incurved, at the base appressed to the thecae, rounded, outside convex, finely warty; rostellum broad, low, truncate; stigma transverse. Anther erect, broad, deeply obtusely bifid; thecae distant, at the base divergent, clavate. Ovary twisted, 6-grooved, glabrous, 1 cm long. (After Smith, 1915)

Colours: Flower green.

Habitat: Terrestrial in subalpine grassland, Astelia bogs and montane forest; 1800 to 3650 m.

Flowering time in the wild: February, August, December.

Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea).

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia). See map: 556-70M.JPG.

Cultivation: Cool growing terrestrial, requires light position.