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Sarcanthopsis hansemannii

Sarcanthopsis hansemannii

Sarcanthopsis hansemannii (Kraenzl.) J.J.Wood & Ormerod, Curtis's Bot. Mag. 20 (2003) 158


  • Cleisostoma hansemannii Kraenzl., Bot. Zeitschr. 44 (1894) 254
    - Type: Micholitz s.n. (X-1893) (holo B?, lost)

Basionym: Cleisostoma hansemannii

Robust epiphyte. Stems stout, leafy, up to 2 m or more long, erect, 1.5-2 cm diam., internodes 3-6 cm long, producing aerial roots at the nodes, clothed with sheathing leaf-bases, older stems naked. Leaf-blade 9-40 by 3-6 cm, broadly strap-shaped, obtusely unequally bilobed at apex, rigid, thickly coriaceous, fleshy; sheathing leaf-base 3-6 cm long. Inflorescences emerging at the base of and through the underside of the sheathing leaf-bases, paniculate, spreading; branches 6-24 cm long; floral bracts 0.6-0.7 by 0.7 cm, broadly oblong, obtuse, concave, cucullate, somewhat fleshy at base. Flowers 2-3 cm diam., resupinate, wide-opening, unscented, 1-1.3(-1.5) cm apart;. Pedicel and ovary 1.5-1.7 cm long. Sepals and petals spreading, rigid and somewhat fleshy, slightly curved above. Median sepal 1.2-1.4 by 0.9 cm, oblong to obovate, cuneate, obtuse, minutely retuse, concave, 7-nerved. Lateral sepals 1.2 by 0.8-0.9 cm, obliquely ovate-elliptic, obtuse, shallowly concave, somewhat smoothly carinate on reverse, particularly at apex, 7-9-nerved. Petals 1.2-3 by 0.9 cm, obovate to subspathulate, cochleate, obtuse, very shallowly concave at centre, 7-nerved. Lip 1.3 cm long, 3-lobed, saccate, fleshy, firmly adnate to base of column; sac 0.3-0.4 by 0.5 cm, obtuse, rounded, emarginate; side lobes (hypochile) 0.4-0.5 cm long, c. 0.5 cm wide at base, erect, rhomboid, upper margin somewhat erose; mid-lobe (epichile) 0.7 by c. 0.4 cm, narrowly oblong, thick and fleshy, apex produced into a subspathulate to oblong, truncate, obtuse to slightly emarginate terminal lobe of uniform fleshiness measuring c. 0.3 by 0.25 cm; laminate back wall keel thick and cushion-like, lower portion touching the basal epichile callus; basal epichile callus broadly elliptic, rounded in lateral view; subterminal epichile callus more or less subquadrate in the upper half in lateral view. Column 0.2 by 0.3 cm, stout; rostellum bilobed; anther-cap 0.35 by 0.3 cm, ovate-cordate, cucullate; viscidium broadly oblong, convex, slightly carinate along the median; stipe c. 0.2 cm long, ligulate, concave and cupped at apex, gently sigmoid; pollinia 2, very unequally cleft, each portion separable. (After Wood & Ormerod 2003)

Roots greyish green. Older stems yellow. Leaves yellowish-green above, dull green below. Pedicel and ovary pale yellowish-cream, flushed maroon or dull brownish-purple at junction with sepals, interior of sepals pale yellowish-green to yellowish-cream, with a few maroon to dull brownish-purple spots, reverse heavily stained maroon or dull brownish-purple, particularly at the apex and down the centre, interior of petals pale yellowish-green to yellowish-cream, lightly speckled maroon or dull brownish-purple, particularly at base and centre, exterior stained maroon to dull brownish-purple at apex, lip creamy-white, apex flushed and speckled maroon, dull brownish-purple or lilac, particularly beneath, column and anther-cap creamy-white, pollinia yellow.

Epiphyte in lowland forest on volcanic soil and on trees along the coast, including coconut palms; 0 to 200 m.

Malesia (New Guinea).

Papua New Guinea. See map

distribution map


  • Wood, J..J. & P. Ormerod, Curtis's Bot. Mag. 20 (2003) 152-160, pl. 472, fig.
  • Family Orchidaceae
  • Subfamily Epidendroideae
  • Tribe Vandeae
  • Subtribe Aeridinae
  • Genus Sarcanthopsis
  • Species Sarcanthopsis hansemannii

This species, apparently endemic to the Bismarck Archipelago, has been confused with Sarcanthopsis warocqueana. Its status as a distinct species was clarified by Wood & Ormerod (2003). It differs from S. warocqueana mainly in the shape of the basal callus of the lip epichile, which is broadly elliptic, rounded in lateral view in S. hansemannii, whereas it is subquadrate, emarginate in lateral view in S. warocqueana.

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Sarcanthopsis hansemannii

Sarcanthopsis hansemannii (Kraenzl.) J.J.Wood & Ormerod, flower analysis, drawing Anne Farmer in Curtis's Bot. Mag. 20 (2003) 158, fig. 2