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Genus Hippeophyllum

Genus Hippeophyllum

Hippeophyllum Schltr., in K.Schum. & Lauterb., Nachtr. Fl. Deutsch. Schutzgeb. Südsee (1905) 107

Sympodial epiphytic plants. Rhizome creeping, stem short. Leaves few, sheathing at the base, glabrous, laterally flattened, articulate, duplicate, leathery. Inflorescence terminal, a raceme. Flowers very small, not resupinate, green. Sepals free. Petals free, narrower than the sepals. Lip without spur, not mobile, 3-lobed. Column slender. Column-foot absent. Pollinia 4, solid-waxy, caudicles absent, stipe absent, viscidium absent.

Species present in New Guinea:

Hippeophyllum alboviride
Hippeophyllum biakenae
Hippeophyllum hamadryas
Hippeophyllum micranthum
Hippeophyllum papillosum


Malesia. About 10 species, from Malaysia to New Guinea; in New Guinea 6 species.

Epiphytes in lowland forest.

  • Subfamily Epidendroideae
  • Tribe Malaxideae
  • Genus Hippeophyllum

Species of Hippeophyllum are often confused with Oberonia, mainly because of the similar habit, but the genus may well be more closely related to Liparis. Hippeophyllum always has a long creeping rhizome, which is uncommon in Oberonia, and the column is slender, unlike the very short column of Oberonia. The species of Hippeophyllum are very similar indeed and badly in need of revision.


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Genus Hippeophyllum

Hippeophyllum sp., in situ near Ayawasi, Vogelkop Peninsula, Papua, Indonesia, photo A. Schuiteman (Yumte 90)

Genus Hippeophyllum

Hippeophyllum sp., flowers, photo A. Schuiteman, based on Yumte 90

Genus Hippeophyllum

Hippeophyllum aff. alboviride J.J.Sm., habit, photo P. O'Byrne, based on O'Byrne H050

Genus Hippeophyllum

Hippeophyllum alboviride J.J.Sm., aff., drawing P. O'Byrne

Genus Hippeophyllum

Hippeophyllum hamadryas (Ridl.) Schltr., drawing P. O'Byrne