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Mediocalcar arfakense

Mediocalcar arfakense

Mediocalcar arfakense J.J.Sm., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 11 (1913) 559

Type: Gjellerup 1071 p.p. (holo BO; iso L)

Roots densely covered with root hairs, 1 mm thick. Rhizome creeping, sparsely branching, 3.5-6 mm thick. Cataphylls 5-7, closely appressed, tubular, subglabrous, obtuse to subacute, slightly keeled near the tip. Pseudobulbs 1-6 cm apart, terete, 4-7 mm across; base elongated, enveloping the rhizome, 1.5-4 cm long; free part erect to suberect, (1-)2-3.5 cm long. Leaves one per pseudobulb, sessile, narrowly elliptic to very narrowly obovate (index 4-10.5), (6-)7-14(-20) cm by (10-)12-24 mm; apex obtuse, more or less unequally bilobed, mucronate, with the mucro shorter than the lobules; margins entire; keeled below; coriaceous. Inflorescences in pairs, synanthous, at the base with a narrow scale 3-4 mm long. Peduncle 2.5-3 cm long, at the apex with a triangular, acuminate bract 1 mm long. Pedicel and ovary 13-27 mm long. Flowers urceolate, oblique, more or less laterally flattened, 11-13 mm long. Synsepalum 11-13 mm long and 15-19 mm wide when cut open and flattened; free tips only slightly spreading, 3-4 mm long, acute. Petals narrowly oblong to linear (index 5-6.5), 8.5-10 by 1.5-1.7 mm; apex acute to acuminate; 3-nerved. Lip 9-10 by 3.5-4 mm in natural position, the blade broadly ovate when flattened; claw 3-4 by c. 2.5 mm, auricles rather inconspicuous, reflexed; apex acute to acuminate, straight; margins erect, clasping the column; spur cylindrical, recurved, making a sharp angle with the column, 2.5-3.5 mm long, c. 2 mm wide just below the mouth. Column clavate, 5.5-6.5 mm long, c. 2 mm wide at the apex, foot conspicuous, c. 2 mm long. Fruit narrowly ellipsoid, 33 by 4 mm. (After Schuiteman, 1997)


Flower deep pinkish red, or sometimes bright scarlet, with yellowish green tips to the sepals, petals and lip. Pollinia yellow. Pedicel and ovary red. Leaves more or less glossy dark green above, paler green below. Pseudobulbs green.

Epiphyte in montane forest, also terrestrial at the base of trees; 1250-2650 m.

Malesia (New Guinea, endemic).

Papua (Indonesia); Papua New Guinea. See map

Mediocalcar arfakense J.J.Sm., distribution in New Guinea

Cool growing epiphyte, requires shaded position.

March, April, May, June, July, August, October, November, December.

  • Smith, J.J., Nova Guinea 12, 3 (1915) 258, t. 93, fig. 158
  • Schuiteman, A., Orchid Monogr. 8 (1997) 43, fig. 9
  • Family Orchidaceae
  • Subfamily Epidendroideae
  • Tribe Podochileae
  • Subtribe Eriinae
  • Genus Mediocalcar
  • Species Mediocalcar arfakense

One of the largest species of Mediocalcar, with rhizomes up to 1 m long or more. In this respect similar to Mediocalcar paradoxum subsp. robustum.


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Mediocalcar arfakense

overview picture

Mediocalcar arfakense

Mediocalcar arfakense J.J.Sm., habit, photo N.E.G. Cruttwell, from PNG, Mt. Gahavisuka

Mediocalcar arfakense

Mediocalcar arfakense J.J.Sm., drawing A. Schuiteman in Orchid Monogr. 8 (1997) fig. 9

Mediocalcar arfakense

Mediocalcar arfakense J.J.Sm., drawing N.H.S. Howcroft 337, from PNG, Gumi

Mediocalcar arfakense

Mediocalcar arfakense J.J.Sm., floral analysis, drawing J.J. Smith, based on Gjellerup 1071 p.p.

Mediocalcar arfakense

Mediocalcar arfakense J.J.Sm., lip, column and anther, drawing J.J. Smith, based on Gjellerup 1071 p.p.

Mediocalcar arfakense

Mediocalcar arfakense J.J.Sm., herbarium sheet, Gjellerup 1071 p.p. (holotype specimen BO)

Mediocalcar arfakense

Mediocalcar arfakense J.J.Sm., herbarium sheet, Gjellerup 1071 (isotype specimen L)