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Genus Sarcanthopsis

Genus Sarcanthopsis

Sarcanthopsis Garay, Bot. Mus. Leafl. 23 (1972) 198

Monopodial epiphytic or lithophytic plants. Stem elongated. Leaves many, sheathing at the base, glabrous, dorso-ventrally flattened, articulate, duplicate, leathery. Inflorescence lateral, a panicle. Flowers medium-sized, resupinate, cream with brownish spots. Sepals free. Petals free, fairly similar to the sepals. Lip adnate to the column, without spur, concave in the centre, apical half of the lip making a sharp angle with the basal half, both parts very fleshy. Column-foot absent. Pollinia 4, solid-waxy, caudicles absent, stipe present, viscidium present.


East Malesia, Solomon Islands, east to Fiji and the Horne Islands. About 3 or 4 species; in New Guinea two species.

Epiphytes in lowland forest.

  • Subfamily Epidendroideae
  • Tribe Vandeae
  • Subtribe Aeridinae
  • Genus Sarcanthopsis

The name of this genus, Sarcanthus-like, is not very well chosen, as first of all the genus is not particularly Sarcanthus-like, and secondly, because Sarcanthus is a synonym of Cleisostoma. Members of this genus were formerly included in Vandopsis but the structure of the lip is somewhat different. Species of Sarcanthopsis also have smaller, more dull-coloured flowers than Vandopsis. These tall plants are rarely cultivated, but their potential in hybridization programmes perhaps deserves to be more fully explored.

Genus Sarcanthopsis in New Guinea:is present with 5 species:

Sarcanthopsis hansemannii
Sarcanthopsis nagarensis
Sarcanthopsis praealta
Sarcanthopsis quaifei
Sarcanthopsis woodfordii


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Genus Sarcanthopsis

Sarcanthopsis warocqueana (Rolfe) Garay, habit, photo N.E.G. Cruttwell (5/69, PNG, Morobe Prov., Agupon)

Genus Sarcanthopsis

Beach tree covered with epiphytes including Sarcanthopsis sp. and Cleisostoma micholitzii, with Neville Howcroft and assistant, photo E.F. de Vogel

Genus Sarcanthopsis

Beach tree with Sarcanthopsis sp. and Cleisostoma micholitzii, photo E.F. de Vogel

Genus Sarcanthopsis

Sarcanthopsis warocqueana (Rolfe) Garay, flowers, photo N.E.G. Cruttwell (5/69, PNG, Morobe Prov., Agupon)

Genus Sarcanthopsis

Sarcanthopsis warocqueana (Rolfe) Garay, flowers, photo P. O'Byrne, based on O'Byrne S100

Genus Sarcanthopsis

Sarcanthopsis warocqueana (Rolfe) Garay (Vandopsis curvata J.J.Sm.), flower and floral analysis, drawing J.J. Smith, from Schmid cult. s.n.