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Genus Renanthera

Genus Renanthera

Renanthera Lour., Fl. Cochinch. 2 (1790) 521


  • Genus Nephranthera Hassk. in Hoev. & De Vriese, Tijdschr. 9 (1842) 145
  • Genus Ascoglossum Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 1 (1913) 974

Monopodial epiphytes. Stem usually much elongated. Leaves many, arranged in two rows, sheathing at the base, glabrous, deciduous, duplicate, leathery. Inflorescence lateral, a many-flowered panicle. Flowers small to medium-sized, resupinate or not, bright (orange-)red or yellow with red markings. Sepals free, the lateral sepals often much longer and broader than the medium sepal. Petals free, similar to the dorsal sepal. Lip sac-shaped, not mobile, inside without callosities, much shorter than the sepals, with a small, usually recurved midlobe. Column short. Column-foot absent. Pollinia 4, about equal or slightly unequal in size, solid, caudicles absent, stipe present, viscidium present.

Northeast India, Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands. About 16 species; in New Guinea 3 species

Epiphytes in lowland and hill forest.

  • Mahyar, U.W. 1988. Observations on some species of the orchid genus Renanthera Loureiro. Reinwardtia 10: 399-418.
  • Subfamily Epidendroideae
  • Tribe Vandeae
  • Subtribe Aeridinae
  • Genus Renanthera

The continental Asian and Philippine species of Renanthera are frequently cultivated for the not very large but brightly coloured flowers, which are either red, or yellow with red markings. The lateral sepals are usually distinctly broader than the dorsal sepal, which gives the flower a characteristic appearance.
Renanthera caloptera is characterised by the reflexed sepals and petals and the uniformreddish-pink colour. Not as yet common in cultivation, although it certainly has more horticultural potential than most New Guinea monopodial orchids.

Genus Renanthera in New Guinea is present with 3 species:

Renanthera caloptera
Renanthera edelfeldtii
Renanthera porphyrodesme

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Genus Renanthera

Renanthera edelfeldtii F.Muell. & Kraenzl., inflorescence, photo J.B. Comber, from PNG, Sogeri

Genus Renanthera

Renanthera edelfeldtii F.Muell. & Kraenzl., habit and flowers, drawing N.H.S. Howcroft 28, from Ulamona, WNBR