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Platylepis intricata

Platylepis intricata

Platylepis intricata Schuit.& de Vogel, Malesian Orchid J. 9 (2012, publ. 2011) 16, fig. 17-18

Type: Type: Gardner 9753 (holo L; iso AK)

Stems creeping; basal part rhizomatous, at each node with a c. 0.3 cm thick, elongated, unbranched, hairy root; upper part (not including the inflorescence) erect, 6–30 cm by c.0.6 cm, 6–7-leaved of which three or four leaves evenly distributed along the stem and three to four leaves crowded at the base of the inflorescence. Leaves somewhat obliquely ovate, 5–9.5 by 1.5–3.6 cm; sheaths large, petiole-like contracted towards the leaf blade, 2–4.5 cm long, with more or less conspicuous, reticulate veins; margins often finely undulate; apex acuminate; main veins 3, smaller nerves numerous. Inflorescence erect, glabrous, 18–31 cm tall; peduncle-scales c. 7, the basal one more leaf-like, to about 4.5 cm long, the upper ones gradually smaller towards the rachis, similar to the floral bracts; rachis 6.5–10 cm long, densely 20–25-flowered, with the flowers subsecund or two-ranked; floral bracts narrowly ovate, 0.7–1.5 cm long, acuminate. Flower resupinate, glabrous except the lip. Pedicel and ovary 1–1.3 cm long, glabrous, terete. Median sepal concave, narrowly oblong-elliptic, 0.83–0.86 by 0.2–0.36 cm; apex obtuse; 3-nerved. Lateral sepals patent, oblong, narrowing towards the apex, 0.8–0.88 by 0.24 cm; apex obtuse; 3-nerved. Petals cohering with the median sepal, subspatulate, somewhat oblique, 0.72–0.8 by 0.15–0.21 cm; apex obtuse; 1-nerved. Lip shallowly cymbiform, weakly 3-lobed, in outline oblong-pandurate (not flattened) , 0.77–0.92 cm long when spread, 0.27–0.34 cm wide in natural position; with a bilateral constriction at 0.22–0.34 cm above the base; basal part below the constriction (hypochile) almost hemispherical, with its margins adnate to the column; outside on underside longitudinally channelled; inside near the base on each side with a large patch of about ten thick and long, hair-like or in part antler-like papillae; in the centre of the lip, at and just beyond the constriction, with two densely pubescent crests which merge towards the base of the lip into a low, broad ridge, the hairs stiff, silky and patent; the sides of the lip on either side of the crests bulging inwards, more finely pubescent; middle part of the lip (mesochile) 0.42 cm long, outside on each side covered with an armour-like callus which extends from the underside of the lip to about 0.06 cm below the lip margins, the edge of the callus finely and densely lobed-crenate; side lobes (raised edges of the mesochile) broadly rounded, erect, very short; endlobe (epichile) deflexed, broadly ovate-deltoid to quadrangular-orbicular, rounded, 0.14–0.18 by 0.17–0.24 cm; apex slightly subacute-apiculate. Column slender, 0.73–0.8 cm long, laterally on each side with a narrow horizontal flange from the base to just below the rostellum, terminating as a narrowly triangular wing; lateral margins of the stigma extending towards the base of the lip as two increasingly thick, close, parallel ridges; rostellar arms dagger-shaped, connate in basal half, 0.27–0.3 cm long; stigma broadly elliptic; anther very narrowly ovate, 0.42–0.5 cm long, 2-locular; pollinia slender, 0.35–0.45 cm long including the caudicles; viscidium linear, 0.1 cm long. Fruit not seen.
(after Schuiteman & de Vogel, 2012, publ. 2011)


Sepals and petals glabrous, (pinkish) brown (paler in the basal part), lip white or pinkish white, pink inside, the external callus light brown.

Terrestrial in shady sites on floor of mossy montane forest (the type collection is from along a track in Nothofagus pullei forest); 2000–2500 m.

Malesia (New Guinea)

Papua New Guinea (Enga, Eastern Highlands, Madang and Morobe Provinces), see map

Cool growing epiphyte, requires shade.

March and August-November.

  • Family Orchidaceae
  • Subfamily Epidendroideae
  • Tribe Cranichideae
  • Subtribe Goodyerinae
  • Genus Platylepis
  • Species Platylepis intricata

Platylepis intricata is unique in the densely pubescent keels on the lip and in the presence of two large, armour-like calli with finely lobed-crenate margins abaxially on the mesochile of the lip, which are only comparable to to those in P. bombus J.J. Sm. from Seram.

Platylepis intricata was found among specimens identified as P. zeuxinoides Schltr. (type lost). This deviates according to Schlechter’s description and illustration in the absence of keels on the lip and callosities on the mesochile, and the petals have partly denticulate margins, while these are quite entire in P. intricata. Localities shown on the map in Schuiteman & de Vogel (2006) refer to both P. intricata and P. zeuxinoides.


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Platylepis intricata

Platylepis intricata Schuit.& de Vogel, Malesian Orchid J. 9 (2012, publ. 2011) 16, fig. 17-18. Drawn by Eline Hoogendijk; K drawing André Schuiteman from type: Gardner 9753