Vanilla kempteriana Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 1 (1911) 32
Type: Schlechter 18045 (holo B, lost; iso L)
Twining, tall climber. Roots filiform, elongated, flexuose, glabrous. Stem terete, branching, glabrous, fleshy, c. 1 cm diam., internodes 6-7 cm long. Leaves elliptic, acuminate, glabrous, fleshy, 25-30 by 9-11 cm, petiole broad, hardly more than 1 cm long. Inflorescence carrying flowers to near the base, much shorter than the leaves, 6-10 cm long, densely several-flowered; rachis thickened. Floral bracts pendent, semiorbicular, concave, very small. Flowers erect-patent. Sepals oblong-elliptic, obtuse, glabrous, c. 3 cm long, in the middle almost 1.2 cm wide. Lateral sepals somewhat oblique. Petals similar to and as large as the sepals, with thickened mid-vein, apex apiculate. Lip broadly cuneate-flabellate, 2.7 cm long, near the apex c. 3 cm wide, in front undulate and with incised margins, apiculate, in the middle hollowed out, with a large but short, scaly, cristate-lacerate band, inside below the apex with several subulate, closely spaced papillae, otherwise glabrous. Column semiterete, glabrous, 2.2 cm long; clinandrium narrowly auriculate. Anther oblong-cucullate, glabrous, dorsally with a low umbo. Ovary cylindrical, glabrous, 2.5 cm long. (After Schlechter, 1911-1914)
Colours: Sepals and petals greenish yellow, lip white, in front with pinkish red and brown lines.
Habitat: Terrestrial in lower montane forest; 600 m.
Flowering time in the wild: July.
Distribution: Malesia (New Guinea).
Distribution in New Guinea: Papua New Guinea. See map: 719-29M.JPG.
Cultivation: Intermediate growing terrestrial, requires shaded position.