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Bulbophyllum Pg1

 

More than 2000 species has been recognised in this large genus, out of which a great majority is from Malesia region (more than 70%). Visitors of highland cloud forests in Malesia will always find some tiny species overwhelming the trunks of the trees and looking quite unlike orchids to untrained eye, unless when they bloom. Many new ones are continually being described from hot spots like PNG and Borneo which has 500 and 200 species at last count. Most species has a long creeping rhizome bearing pseudobulbs with 1 leaf attached. There are many exceptions of course. Flowers may be solitary or in clusters and range from very small (about 1mm) to more than 20cm tip-to tip (B. echinolabium).  Size -wise, there are minute species to giants over a metre long in leaf span (B. fletcherianum and aff). Fragrant bloom are exceptions rather than the rule as many are flies pollinated. 

                                                    

Bulbophyllums used to be neglected by growers except for the usual favourites like the widely available B. lobbi group. Apparently, the genus is now becoming popular, as evidenced by their appearance in many commercial sales lists. There are many weirdos in this group, like the giant B fletcherianum that has long leaves like rabbit ears over a metre in length (not to mention its meat-coloured flowers that smells like dead fish), B. anitum with its curiously flattened bulbs hugging the tree, spectacular bloom of B. echinolabium that looks like a giant star fish drifting in the woods, B. beccarii - another Borneo giant that curls round giant tree trunks, trapping debris with its cup-like leaves, B bifordense which has flower like a helmet with ears. 

 

Section Lepidorhiza

B. levanae from The Philippines. The flower opens only about 3 days, but more flowers appear from rachis so one can get almost continuous bloom for about 2 months.There is also a red flowered form of the same species. 

B. carunculatum was described by Dr L. Garay, F. Hamer and E. Siegerist in 1995 from a plant originating in the Philippines. It has since been found in Sulawesi and probably some nearby islands. Its growing habit is very similar to the species below but the lip is rough and dark coloured. The flower is also of a brighter tone.  

Bulbophyllum amplebracteatum

A large leave species from Sulawesi. The flower is borned singly but continuously on a rachis. This is closely related to the B. carunculatum but has a bright red glabrous lip as shown. 

Many thanks to Miss Levy and Dr L. Garay in helping to ID this plant.

(I had forced the lip on top of the sepal for identification purpose - its not the natural position)

B. echinolabium

 

This is a large plant with closely packed pseudobulbs and hard spade shaped leaves. The flower is wonderful and is up 'til now, the largest found in the family. This has a faint musky smell. Like the previous species, it is from Section, Lepidorhiza, characterised by large, sequentially opening flowers with long ventral sepals borned on a flower stalk. 

Other Bulbos:

    

 

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