Plocoglottis lowii

Plocoglottis lowii Rchb.f., Gard. Chron. (1865) 434

Type: Low cult. (Low) s.n. (Borneo); Day cult. s.n. (holo W)

Rhizome creeping, 0.2-0.4 cm diameter, internodes between shoots 5-7. Roots 0.2-0.3 cm diameter, rather thick, densely pubescent, not branching. Pseudobulbs 0.5-4.4 cm apart, 3-8 (-11) by 0.2-0.6 (-0.9) cm, subconical or cylindrical, internodes 1-3, 0.3-6.3 cm long; 1- or sometimes 2-leaved, the second leaf smaller. Sheaths 1-3, glabrous, sometimes pubescent. Leaves petiolate; sheath if present 2.7-4.3 cm long, petiole 1-4.4 cm long, channelled, blade 17-28.5 by 2.9-8.6 cm (index 2-5 (-7)), (linear-)lanceolate, sometimes oblong or elliptic, base cuneate, apex acute to acuminate, glabrous, with 5 prominent veins. Inflorescence 35-75.5 cm long, laxly 4-20-flowered; peduncle 8.8-42.6 cm, sparsely pubescent, internodes 1-5 (-6), 0.15-16 cm long; peduncle scales 0.4-4.1 cm long, obliquely tubular, sparsely pubescent, with 3-7 prominent veins; rachis 11.1-48.4 cm long, densely pubescent, internodes 4-30, 0.7-19.6 cm long; Floral bracts 0.7-1.5 by 0.3-0.6 (-0.9) cm, triangular, concave, patent, falcate apex acuminate, densely pubescent, rarely sparsely pubescent. Flowers up to 3 cm wide. Median sepal 0.9-1.72 by 0.32-0.6 cm, broadly oblong to lanceolate, concave, apex acute to acuminate, moderately pubescent, thin textured, with 3-5 distinct veins. Lateral sepals 0.8-1.5 by 0.33-0.6 cm, elliptic to obliquely obovate, falcate, base broadly cuneate, apex subacute or acute, pubescent, with 3-5 distinct veins. Petals 0.8-1.8 by 0.15-0.34 cm, linear-lanceolate, subfalcate, pubescent on abaxial side, fleshy or sometimes thin-textured, with distinct mid-vein, the two lateral veins indistinct, base broadly cuneate, glabrous, apex subacute to acute. Lip 0.59-0.86 by 0.3-0.77 cm, adnate to column at base, subquadrangular, with 3 distinct veins, base broadly cuneate, with two basal divergent adaxial triangular lamellae, in front of the lamellae with a triangular depression, with two swollen patches, obliquely obovate in outline, 1.2 mm from the base, extending to apex, lateral margins of lip membranous, margin in lower half somewhat crispate-undulate, in upper half deeply laciniate-fimbriate, with two horn-like projections near apical margin, apex broadly truncate, in the middle with a 2 cm long, recurved, narrowly lanceolate-triangular, acute or acuminate acumen. Column 0.6-0.8 (-1.2) by 0.1-0.34 (-0.6) cm, clavate, somewhat dorsally pubescent. Anther 0.16-0.24 by 0.14-0.3 cm, subdeltoid-cordate in outline, apical margin serrulate, apex acute to obtuse, glabrous or somewhat pubescent, keel short or sometimes long. Stigma subobcordate to orbicular, rostellum truncate. Pollinia 0.1 by 0.08-0.1 cm, suborbicular to broadly ovate in lateral view, caudicle 0.18-0.2 cm. Ovary with pedicel 1-2 by 0.21 cm, clavate, densely pubescent. 3-3.5 by 0.4-0.6 cm, cylindrical. Seeds 0.08-0.12 cm long. (After Eang Hourt, unpublished manuscript 2004)

Colours: Often the whole plant purplish, pseudobulbs olive green to purple, leaves shining greenish-purple above, bright purple below, sepals and petals base light yellowish green, tinged dull violet, the top yellowish; the median sepal with a dull violet base and top, the lateral ones with a red purple to purple band widening to the top. Petals with some bright purplish spots, or suffused reddish at the base. Lip ochrish yellow, densely spotted with reddish purple. Column and anther pale yellow.

Habitat: Terrestrial in lowland forest; 50 to 600 m.

Flowering time in the wild: January, February, April, May, July, August, September, November.

Distribution: Malesia (Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, Borneo, Sulawesi, Moluccas, New Guinea), Thailand.

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea. See map: 564-28M.JPG.

Cultivation: Warm growing terrestrial, requires shaded position.