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Bulbophyllum refractum?

Discussion in 'Orchid Species' started by naoki, Mar 10, 2019.

  1. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    I recently got this plant as B. refractum from Tropical Exotique. There has been a couple of discussion about the identification of the related species. I think most of the photos on internet are unreliable, so I compared the illustrations in Swiss Orchid Foundation. I now know why it is so confusing. There are quite a bit of variations among different authors. Even within Seidenfaden's work, some features are different within species between different publications! For example, with B. kanburiense, the lateral sepal was small (around 2cm) in his 1973, but it is around 4-5cm in 1978. Also, the dorsal sepal shapes, lip shapes, lip hair patterns are different between 1973 and 1978. The plant I have seems to be close to B. refractum of G. King and R. Pantling (1898), but it doesn't quite match with Seidenfaden's (1973) B. refractum. Some aspects are close to B. kanburiense of Seidenfaden (1978). For example, in the 3rd photo, I noticed hairs in the back side (abaxial side) of the lateral sepal near the base. This was illustrated by Seidenfaden, but I didn't see this feature in the illustration of other species. Without reading the text description, it is difficult to ID (and I don't have the papers), but I think this is close to either B. refractum or B. kanburiense. I appreciate your opinion.
    P2222102.jpg P2222183.jpg

    P2222129.jpg
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    All sepals are removed.
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    Sepals and petals are removed (anther cap was gone during the handling).
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    Dorsal and lateral sepals, right petal, and bract are showing the adaxial surface (front). The left petal is showing abaxial surface.
    P3072419.jpg P3072422.jpg P3072432.jpg

    The bottom side of the column and top side of the lip.
    P3072459.jpg
     
  2. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Great photos and analysis, Naoki.

    I am not going to suggest a species yet but will compare yours to mine. My photos are not as diagnostic as yours but should still be a good comparison.

    On my plant the lip and tiny petals look hairier.
    [​IMG]



    On my plant the dorsal sepal and synsepal have a fringe of very fine cilia.
    If I am looking at your images correctly, your plant seems to have a dorsal sepal that is hairy on the lower surface or perhaps I am seeing part of a petal (?). I am not seeing cilia on the synsepal of your plant.
    [​IMG]

    Lastly, the pseudobulbs on your plant don't look as rugose as my plant. This may simply be a factor of age.
    [​IMG]

    I don't remember why I finally decided mine was refractum. As wishy-washy as I have been on the ID I could probably be persuaded to change the ID on mine again :confused:.
     
    Mikhail kujawa likes this.
  3. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Kelly, I see quite a few differences between the two in addition to what you mentioned. Yours have a proportionately longer dorsal sepals (compared to column). Petals and lateral sepals narrower (relative to the length).

    By looking at the illustration, I would also say that yours is closest to B. refractum. The only one which indicates the hair on the lateral sepals is B. refractum by J.J. Smith. Seidenfaden's B. refractum is supposed to be from the type specimen. It doesn't have the column, but it appears that the dorsal sepal is fairly long like yours. B. refractum has a fairly wide distribution. I'm not sure if there is some geographic variation, or mine is a different species.

    The original description (in latin) of B. refractum is available (here), but from a quick look, I didn't pick up something useful for ID...
     
  4. Chuck-NH

    Chuck-NH Well-Known Member

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    Hi Naoki,

    I recently picked up a B. kanburiense from Tropical Exotique. Will be interesting to compare to your photos some day.

    Chuck
     
  5. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Kelly, can you change the title to Bulbophyllum wallichii? I think it is the closest. I got a hold of Seidenfaden (1970, 1973, and 1979), and studied about them quite a bit. Following the key of 1979, I think mine is B. wallichii. Jagged edges of the dorsal sepal is the key. I'm pretty sure that yours is B. refractum (as I mentioned in your thread) because of the long dorsal sepal with smooth edge.

    It is a species with the widest geographic range in this group. But it is interesting that there aren't many correctly ID's B. wallichii (a lot of them seem to be closer to B. kanburiense).

    I also wrote down what I learned in my (kind of big) blog post. It's not well edited, but I got tired of it, so I said that it is good enough for now. Here is the link. It talks about the super-screwed up history of its name.

    Also, can I use some of your B. refractum photos in the blog post, Kelly?
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019