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Genus Bulbophyllum Family Orchidaceae

Synonyms: Spilorchis D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem. APNI*
Adelopetalum Fitzg. APNI*
Oxysepala Wight APNI*
Oncophyllum D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem. APNI*
Ephippium Blume APNI*
Epicranthes APNI*

Description: Epiphytic or epilithic herbs, sympodial; roots creeping over the surface of the substrate or aerial, filamentous to fibrous. Stems differentiated into rhizome and pseudobulb; pseudobulb of 1 internode.

Leaves apparently terminal on the pseudobulb, 1[–several] per shoot, conduplicate to subterete.

Inflorescence racemose, 1–many-flowered, lateral, emerging from the rhizome, often at the base of the pseudobulb; flowers resupinate or not. Dorsal sepal free, similar to, or smaller than, lateral sepals. Lateral sepals united basally to each other and to column foot forming a mentum, otherwise free or fused further. Lateral petals free, smaller than dorsal sepal. Labellum free, hinged to the tip of the column foot; lamina not lobed or obscurely 3-lobed, unornamented or with 2 longitudinal keels. Column lacking free filament and style; column wings fused to column, reduced to teeth that project beside the anther. Column foot usually as long as or longer than the column itself. Anther incumbent, cap-like. Pollinia 4, waxy. Rostellum not prominent, ventral.


Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 2000 species, widespread in tropical & subtropical regions with greatest diversity in New Guinea. Australia: 31 species (27 species endemic), Qld, N.S.W.

Clements and Jones (2002, Orchadian 13: 420-424; 2002, Orchadian 13: 498-501; 2005 Orchadian 15: 33-42) proposed to segregate several genera from Bulbophyllum, of which Adelopetalum, Oncophyllum, Oxysepala, Spilorchis occur in New South Wales. Those authors justified recognition of these genera on the basis of an unpublished phylogenetic analysis. We will not be recognizing any of these genera until phylogenetic evidence justifying them is published.

Text by P. H. Weston
Taxon concept: P.H. Weston (1993, Flora of New South Wales vol. 4)

 Key to the species 
1Leaves succulent, much bulkier than the inconspicuous pseudobulbs, channelled on upper surface2
Leaves papery to leathery, flat and keeled or concave4
2Rhizomes entirely prostrate, forming a dense mat; pseudobulbs less than 10 mm apart on rhizomesBulbophyllum shepherdii
Rhizomes prostrate basally, pendent towards the tips, not forming a dense mat; pseudobulbs usually more than 10 mm apart on rhizomes
                       Back to 1
3
3Sepals white with yellow tips; lateral sepals coherent for less than half their lengthBulbophyllum lamingtonense
Sepals white with orange to red tips; lateral sepals coherent for more than half their length
                       Back to 2
Bulbophyllum schillerianum
4Leaves less than 3 mm long, papery, concave; pseudobulbs usually less than 3 mm diam5
Leaves more than 5 mm long, thinly leathery, flat, keeled; pseudobulbs usually more than 3 mm diam
                       Back to 1
6
5Pseudobulbs flattened, globose; inflorescence c. 3 mm longBulbophyllum minutissimum
Pseudobulbs ovoid to globose; inflorescence 10–15 mm long
                       Back to 4
Bulbophyllum globuliforme
6Lateral sepals about twice as long as dorsal sepal, 12–26 mm long; leaf 3–11 cm longBulbophyllum elisae
Lateral sepals as long as or slightly longer than dorsal sepal, 4–14 mm long; leaf 1.5–5 cm long
                       Back to 4
7
7Dorsal sepal 8–12 mm long; inflorescence 1-floweredBulbophyllum weinthalii
Dorsal sepal 3–6 mm long; inflorescence 1–30-flowered
                       Back to 6
8
8Inflorescence 10–30-flowered; sepals and lateral petals cream to yellow and heavily mottled with purpleBulbophyllum bracteatum
Inflorescence 1–5-flowered; sepals and lateral petals whitish
                       Back to 7
9
9Rhizome between adjacent pseudobulbs 4–6 mm long; ovary minutely tuberculateBulbophyllum argyropus
Rhizome between adjacent pseudobulbs mostly 10–38 mm long; ovary smooth
                       Back to 8
Bulbophyllum exiguum

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