Thrixspermum graeffei

Thrixspermum graeffei Rchb.f. in Seem., Fl. Vitiensis (1868) 297

Type: Graeffe s.n. (Samoa, Upolo) (holo W)

Epiphytic, delicate; roots flexuose, glabrous. Stem short, densely leafy, 1-1.5 cm long. Leaves ligulate, obliquely subacute, somewhat fleshy, 3-3.5 cm long, in the middle 0.4-0.7 cm wide. Inflorescence very slender-pedunculate, 4-7 cm long; peduncle filiform, rather stiff, to 6 cm long; rachis with bracts saw-like, flattened. Floral bracts conduplicate, falcate-ovate, much shorter than the ovary. Flowers rather small. Sepals elliptic, obtuse, 0.5 cm long. Lateral sepals oblique. Petals very similar to the lateral sepals and equally long. Lip in outline broadly square-oblong, broadly obtuse, with incurved margins, subcucullate, c. 0.8 cm long, near the middle 0.4 cm wide; lateral lobes in the middle incurved, narrowly triangular, obtuse, very small; mid-lobe broadly obtuse, fleshy; at the base of the lip with a very small, oblong, papillose callus, in front of this with a second callus extending from the base to the apex, this callus semiglobose and papillose except at the apex, the two calli connected by a papillose line. Column short, glabrous. Anther reniform-cucullate, gibbose, glabrous; pollinia obliquely oblongoid; stipe ligulate, somewhat narrowed towards the base; viscidium rounded, very small. Ovary slender, glabrous, c. 0.5 cm long. (After Schlechter, 1911-1914)

Colours: Flowers light lemon-yellow, the lip with light brown spots.

Habitat: Epiphyte in montane forest; 1000 to 2000 m.

Flowering time in the wild: January, February, April, November.

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

Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 690-98M.JPG.

Cultivation: Intermediate growing epiphyte.