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Bulbophyllum tripaleum

Discussion in 'Orchid Species' started by Chuck-NH, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. Chuck-NH

    Chuck-NH Well-Known Member

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    Like many of the other Bulbophyllum species that have been posted of late, this is a Thai species that is deciduous and blooms during a bright, dry period. Mine only occasionally gets a little inadvertent water during the winter.
    6A875B77-5308-4F58-8ED0-E66585F34761.jpeg


    A5FA9317-49FE-4CC0-ADE8-189A8B71E2E8.jpeg
     
  2. DanaRaluca

    DanaRaluca Active Member

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    Very interesting looking flowers. :) Like feathers
     
  3. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Very nice! I like these dangly appendages! The whitish/grayish pseudobulbs look pretty cool.
     
  4. Chuck-NH

    Chuck-NH Well-Known Member

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    Thank you both.

    This one is becoming a bit of a dilemma. Apparently Kew (and thus the AOS) currently considers this to be a synonym of B. dhaninivatii. Interestingly, Seidenfaden described B. dhaninivatii in 1965 (accepted by Kew) and he also described B. tripaleum in 1979 and does not appear to have any thoughts of synonymy. Both drawings are on the Swiss Orchid Foundation website as separate species. The best photos of B. dhaninivatii I have seen were from John Wagner on this forum (10 October 2009) and they don’t look much like my plant.

    Another theory, is that it could be B. lemniscatum (Naoki, you just posted one of those in January on this forum). I still think the habit is a bit different. Seidenfaden also produced a drawing in 1979 of this species (Available online at Swiss Orchid Foundation). Also, lemniscatum is a bit more widespread and found at lower elevations, whereas tripaleum is reportedly a highland species with a narrow endemic range.

    So...I will continue to call this plant B. tripaleum unless someone has a better argument .
     
  5. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Interesting, I didn't know about the synonymity. It is based on:

    Vermeulen, J. J., Phelps, J., & Thavipoke, P. (2014). Notes on Bulbophyllum (Dendrobiinae; Epidendroideae; Orchidaceae): two new species and the dilemmas of species discovery via illegal trade. Phytotaxa, 184(1), 012-022.

    I think you can get the full PDF from this link.

    Basically they found a plant with some flowers without the appendages (paleae) of the sepals, and other flowers with short appendages. They argues that there are variations with the existence of the appendages in B. lemniscatoides. So they synonymized them.

    I'm not sure if it is a enough evidence. Could the one speciemen happen to be a hybrid? Comparing the illustration, I can see the strong similarity between B. dhaninivatii and B. tripaleum.

    Seidenfaden's illustrations found in Swiss Orchid Foundation aren't too detailed for B. leminiscatum and B. leminiscatoides, and I can't quite see the floral bracts there. But compared to my plants, your plants has much larger bracts, so it looks quite different.

    Did the flowers open more? They look still closed in the photos.
     
  6. Chuck-NH

    Chuck-NH Well-Known Member

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    I agree Naoki, seems hard to make that claim with just one sample...my understanding is that the sample was either borrowed or from a plant procured in a market, so no field study. Was there a published drawing. I am surprised (not) that one taxonomist would overrule a prior publication without more data?

    Interestingly, B. tripaleum seems to have hit the market more recently and they seem pretty consistent. I don’t know if anyone else has seen an intergrade...I have seen tripaleum for sale in several US shows over the last few years, so there should be more examples out there.

    Given that the whole habit of the inflorescence is quite different, it would be also interesting to see if that carries over in the intergrade? The short, congested inflorescences of dhaninivatii wouldn’t seem to favor long paleae, yet tripaleum blooms (with their paleae)are in constant motion in the wind...almost bouncing on the realively long wiry inflorescences. Different pollinators perhaps?

    Photos of B. dhaninivatii also show a dense “fur” covering the blooms, whereas what I have seen on tripaleum is hirsute, but a bit longer and sparse (hair vs. fur ).

    In the long run, geographic population and ecology needs to also be considered and DNA analysis could also be useful.

    Here are a couple photos showing the opened blooms better

    75A1E4D8-D5DE-456F-AE93-BB3A3051AE08.jpeg

    5C8F3D01-45BC-4217-A54A-C31DA45EEE3F.jpeg
     
  7. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    I think I gave the wrong link, so it didn't have the full PDF. But this link should give the full PDF.

    I can see the lip in the first of your close up photos, and I can see that it doesn't have the keel, which the paper talked about.

    From the illustrations of Seidenfaden, B. tripaleum seems to have shorter inflorescence (without considering the appendages). I mean the size of the flower cluster is smaller. Also, B. dhaninivatii seems to have longer internodes between the pseudobulbs. The shape of the side lobes of the column seems to be slightly different, too.

    I don't completely know the function of the appendages, but I would also think that it could influence the pollinators. If they were used for pollinator attraction, this kind of parts could disappear (relatively quickly) if B. dhaninivatii has shifted their mating systems to more self-fertilization.

    I looked at Orchid Roots (link), and there are some variations. The density of hair on the sepals seems to be quite variable, and Chuck's seems to be fairly sparse, but some other B. tripaleum seem to have quite dense fir-like hairs.

    It is also interesting there are some with small appendages. Some of the photos are probably older flowers with shriveled appendages, but there are a few with fresh and short appendages with a bigger cluster of flowers.

    You mentioned that one taxonomist would overrule. But it is just their opinion, and Kew happened to agree with them. In a long run, scientific field of taxonomy is somewhat democratic, and each people makes a decision based on the evidence presented (and hopefully there is a consensus). I am also underwhelmed by their presentation of the evidences to synonymize the two. But after looking at the Orchid Roots photos, I can see the possibility of intermediate forms. So I'm not sure, and I would like to see more studies, too.
     
  8. Chuck-NH

    Chuck-NH Well-Known Member

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    Hi Naoki,

    I could not access the new link that you posted. I did look up the Orchid Roots photos...just like other sites there were some photos that were all over the place. I did not see much in the way of paleae/appendages on the “typical” dhaninivatii but did see various levels of the paleae on the tripaleum (based on Seidenfaden’s drawing).

    One thing to note is that the my plant has been in bloom for over two months and paleae are still intact. It has even been packaged up and displayed in two Orchids shows in that time frame. It is going by now, but seems to be just freeze-drying in place...still with all “appendages”. One key point, that may explain some intergrade discussion. The paleae on my plant took nearly a month to fully develop. I was actually annoyed at first because it wasn’t much to look at.

    Speaking of pollinators, one photo on Orchid Roots showed several flies (or something of the sort) on the paleae and Emly Siegerist (Bulbophyllum and Their Allies, 2001) states that the paleae are “very mobile and act as an attractant for the pollinators.”. I’m even more intrigued by what the pollination ecology would be for the “typical” dhaninivatii.
     
  9. Paul Bernardeau

    Paul Bernardeau New Member

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    Thank you Chuck-NH. I have been trying to figure out my Bulbophyllum also. I bought as Bulbophyllum tripaleum from Thailand. Buy my flowers are different and also are my Bulbs. Sorry my Pictures are not the greatest.
     

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  10. Chuck-NH

    Chuck-NH Well-Known Member

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    Interesting Paul, the inflorescence seems to be a bit more elongated. Have the appendages (paleae) grown out more or is that as long as they always get?

    Chuck
     
  11. Paul Bernardeau

    Paul Bernardeau New Member

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    Hi Chuck,
    No, that is as long as they grew. The flower spike lasted almost a whole month also.

    Paul B
     
  12. Chuck-NH

    Chuck-NH Well-Known Member

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    Hi Paul, I wonder if yours is lemniscatum? Also, here is a current photo of what I have as tripaleum. It still has the paleae after 3 months, although now a little dried.

    EB0F3485-1FEF-48E2-A451-CBED72CE924F.jpeg

    I still think I would like to grow what would be considered a typical B. dhaninivatii side by side with this one and then try to do a very meticulous set of photos with dissection. My photographic skills and dexterity are not that good, so maybe I could buy Naoki a plane ticket ? If anyone knows John Wagner who posted a picture back on October 10, 2009 on this forum, I would love to see if he had a division of his plant.
     
  13. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Paul, I also think that yours looks more like Bulbophyllum lemniscatum since the flowers are loosely attached to the stem (compared to B. tripaleum). Does the appendage (paleae) have a star-shaped cross-section? B. lemniscatoides is also related, but it has round cross-section (so the paleae is stick-like without grooves).

    I would love to visit your greenhouse, Chuck! Meticulous?? Hmm, I'm more of a quick hack! For the dissection, I just pull them apart with tweezers, and put them on Scotch tape to flatten (double-sided is better, but it is more expensive). Indeed, I didn't dissect B. lemniscatum, because the flowers were too small with this technique. For the photo, I just rely on the camera with automatic focus stacking of Olympus E-M1. It's kind of a lazy way, but it is easy.

    It would be cool if you can get hold of paleae-less B. dhaninivatii!
     
  14. Paul Bernardeau

    Paul Bernardeau New Member

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    Thank You Chuck and Naoki,

    Yes the appendages do have a star shape to them. Someone also told me that it might be related to lemniscatoides, but mine is also blooming. The colors are very different and the flowers on the lemniscatoides is smaller.

    Thanks for the information and interesting topic on these Bulbophyllum. Anyways they are both very neat plants that I enjoy in my collection of growing Bulbophyllum. I do like the these small Orchids though I have about 14 nice size plants together and it still does not compare to the space that Bulbophyllum hamelinii takes.
     
  15. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    B. lemniscatoides is different from B. lemniscatum. Since yours have the star-shaped cross section, it is the later. Seidenfaden's (1979) key uses the shape of inflorescence. B. lemniscatum has a cylindrical inflorescence like Paul's, B. tripaleum has a ball-like inflorescence like Chuck's.