Genus Bulbophyllum section Imitatores

Genus Bulbophyllum section Imitatores

Bulbophyllum section Imitatores J.J.Verm., Schuit. & de Vogel, Phytotaxa 166, 2 (2014) 103. Type species: Bulbophyllum imitator J.J.Verm.


  • Vermeulen, J.J., Bulbophyllum section Macrouris series C, Orchid Monographs 7 (1993) 117-120.

Small to medium sized epiphytes. Rhizomes patent to pendulous; rhizome bracts thin, glabrous to colliculate or transversely ribbed, caducous including the veins. Roots sprouting mainly below the pseudobulbs (sometimes scattered along the rhizome in Bulbophyllum dichotomum), or below the older pseudobulbs only, spreading, approx. glabrous to finely hirsute locally. Pseudobulbs rather conspicuous to minute compared to the size of the plant, 1-leafed, with shoots sprouting from its (sub-)basal node, free, not fused to the pseudobulb. Leaves persistent, thick, veins inconspicuous. Inflorescences sprouting from the basal node of the pseudobulb, sometimes from nodes along the length of the rhizome, single or 2 together, 1-flowered or racemose with flowers spirally arranged. Peduncle approx. as long as the pseudobulbs or shorter (distinctly longer but not exceeding the leaf tips in Bulbophyllum glaucum), peduncle bracts c. 3, scattered but most in the basal half of the peduncle. Rachis, if present, not thickened. Flowers per inflorescence most or all open at a time; floral bracts not amplexicaul, or (the upper) amplexicaul if inflorescence 1—2-flowered, not tubular; pedicel with the basal node slightly to distinctly above the attachment of the floral bract, shorter to distinctly longer than the ovary. Sepals free, the laterals not or hardly longer than the median; 3—7 mm long (12.5—25 mm in Bulbophyllum glaucum), elliptic to triangular, obtuse to acuminate, glabrous, thin to rather thick, top not or hardly thickened; 3-veined (3—5-veined in Bulbophyllum desmotrichoides). Petals 1.2—2.7 mm long (4—5 mm in Bulbophyllum glaucum), elliptic to (ob-ovate), obtuse to acuminate, margins entire to slightly erose; thin, 1-veined (3-veined in Bulbophyllum desmotrichoides), surface glabrous. Lip mobile on a thin ligament, without auricles near the ligament, undivided, 1—1.8 mm long (5—7 mm in Bulbophyllum glaucum), ovate, glabrous; adaxially with two slightly converging ridges (without ridges in Bulbophyllum glaucum). Column with rostellum front approx. level with the stelidia tips or somewhat receding in between these, stigma large, without keels inside, proximally not protruding, column foot tapering or slightly widening towards its top, free part long, short or virtually absent; without a small median callus just short of the ligament. Stelidia shorter to longer than 1/2 of the length of the column; short but not vestigial, triangular, margins without teeth (a small tooth along the upper and lower margin in Bulbophyllum imitator). Anther abaxially with a low, rounded crest, front not concave, front margin not drawn out (with a small, triangular beak in Bulbophyllum glaucum). Pollinia 2, or 4, with the inner approx. half as long as the outer; without appendages.

New Guinea, West Pacific.

Genus Bulbophyllum section Imitatores consists of 4 species (6 names); in New Guinea 4 species.

  • Vermeulen, J.J., A taxonomic revision of Bulbophyllum sections Adelopetalum, Lepantanthe, Macrouris, Pelma, Peltopus, and Uncifera (Orchidaceae) Orchid Monographs 7 (1993) I-VI, 1-324, 6 plates.
  • Family Orchidaceae
  • Subfamily Epidendroideae
  • Tribe Dendrobieae
  • Subtribe Bulbophyllinae
  • Genus Bulbophyllum
  • Section Imitatores

Bulbophyllum section Imitatores is most similar to section Macrouris, but the proximal edge of the stigma does not protrude from the column face.

The species of Bulbophyllum section Imitatores were revised in Vermeulen (1993: 117) and placed in the informal section Macrouris series C.

Bulbophyllum glaucum Schltr., shows marked similarity with Bulbophyllum cateorum J.J. Verm., and Bulbophyllum mulderae J.J. Verm. (section Macrouris), but is provisionally included in section Imitatores becausethe stigma is not protruding proximally.

Bulbophyllum section Imitatores in New Guinea contains the following 4 species:

Bulbophyllum desmotrichoides
Bulbophyllum dichotomum
Bulbophyllum glaucum
Bulbophyllum imitator

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Genus Bulbophyllum section Imitatores

Bulbophyllum desmotrichoides Schltr., inflorescence, photo E.F. de Vogel, Leiden cult. 20081420

Genus Bulbophyllum section Imitatores

Bulbophyllum dichotomum J.J.Sm., flower detail, column and lip, lateral view, lateral sepal and petal removed, photo P. Jongejan, collection Royal Botanic Garden Kew, cult. P. Jongejan

Genus Bulbophyllum section Imitatores

Bulbophyllum dichotomum J.J.Sm., stems with inflorescence, photo E.F. de Vogel, Leiden cult. 20032051

Genus Bulbophyllum section Imitatores

Bulbophyllum dichotomum J.J.Sm., plant habit and flower analysis, J.J. Vermeulen, drawing