Bulbophyllum longiflorum Thouars
  • Hist. Orchid.: t. 98 (1822) 

Notes: Distribution: Uganda to NE. KwaZulu-Natal, W. Indian Ocean, Malesia to Pacific

General Description

Creeping epiphytic herb with a stout woody rhizome 2–5 mm in diameter.Pseudobulbs 2–9 cm apart on the rhizome, 1-leafed, 1.5–4.5 × 0.5–1.5 cm, obliquely ovoid, sometimes slightly 4-angled, green.Leaf erect, cor­iaceous, 7–20 × 1.5–4 cm, lanceolate to oblong, emarginate at the apex; petiole up to 2 cm long.Inflorescence 5–21 cm long, subumbellate, 2–7-flowered; peduncle with several sheaths.Ovary and pedicel 12–18 mm long; bracts spreading, 4–8 mm long.Flowers light purple, blotched with darker purple, blotchy bronze or clear yellow.Dorsal sepal 9–10 × 8–9 mm, elliptic, concave, with a dark filiform tip 9–10 mm long.Lateral sepals 25–28 × 4–7 mm, twisted so that the outer edges meet becoming connate in the centre.Petals 5–8 × 2–2.5 mm, lanceolate, acute, ciliate on the margin and with a filiform tip c. 5 mm long.Lip fleshy, 6–7.5 × 1.5–2.5 mm, ligulate, recurved, ridged below.Column 5.5–7 mm long, including slender stelidia 3–4.5 mm long.Pollinia 4, obovoid, of equal length.

A creeping epiphytic herb to ± 22 cm. tall. Pseudobulbs narrowly conical, oblique, 1-leafed at apex, 1.5–3.2 × 0.7–1.2 cm., borne 2–6.5 cm. apart on a stout rhizome; roots wiry, in clusters below each pseudobulb. Leaf coriaceous, erect, narrowly oblong, rounded and minutely emarginate above, petiolate below, 8.5–19 cm. long, 1.6–4 cm. broad; petiole sulcate, 1–1.7 cm. long. Inflorescence 5–21 cm. long, umbellate, commonly 2–7-flowered; bracts clustered, lanceolate, acuminate, 5–8 mm. long, 1–2 mm. broad. Flowers flesh-coloured or pale orange-yellow, spotted with purple. Dorsal sepal concave, elliptic, 9 mm. long, 5–8 mm. broad, with a filamentous apical seta to 1 cm. long; lateral sepals narrowly oblong to lanceolate, acute or apiculate, 2.2–3.8 cm. long, 0.4–0.7 cm. broad, ± connate in apical two-thirds but with free apices. Petals lanceolate, acute, falcate, 5–9 mm. long, 2–3.5 mm. broad, margins lacerate, with a fine apical seta to 6 mm. long. Lip entire, fleshy, arcuate, very narrowly cordate, rounded at apex, 6–7.5 mm. long, 2.5 mm. broad, 2-ridged beneath. Column fleshy, 3 mm. long; stelidia 2, slender, acuminate, porrect, 4 mm. long; anther cap hemispherical, with a small central raised boss and dentate apex. Fig. 65, p. 306.


habit: herb

null: epiphyte


Evergreen forest, often riverine, usually on trunks of trees

HAB. In riverine and lower montane forests; 700–1700 m.


Uganda near Mpumu, Nov. 1935, Dummer 2664!

Zimbabwe Chimanimani Distr., c. 4 km upstream from Haroni/Lusito junction, c. 340 m, fl. 23.xi.1981, Pope & Müller 2040 (K; SRGH).

Malawi Thyolo Distr., Nchima Tea Estate, 750 m, fl. 27.xi.1984, Pettersson 315 (K; UPS).

Malawi Nkhata Bay Distr., 8 km E of Mzuzu, 1200 m, fr. 7.iii.1977, Grosvenor & Renz 1066 (K; SRGH).

Tanzania E. Usambara Mts., Amani, Nov. 1935, Greenway 4174!

Tanzania Kabale, near Suma, Feb. 1976, Cribb & Grey-Wilson 10666!


Orch. Iles Austr. Afr., tab. prem. des espec. & t. 98 (1822); Seidenfaden in Dansk Bot. Arkiv 29 (1): 126, fig. 64 (1973).

Hist. Orchid. [Fl. Iles Austr. Afr.]: prem. tab. espec. & tab. 98 (1822). —Seidenfaden in Dansk. Bot. Arkiv. 29, 1: 126 (1973). —la Croix et al., Malawi Orch. 1: 46 (1983). —Cribb in F.T.E.A., Orchidaceae: 304 (1984). —Vermeulen, Orchid Monogr. 2: 158 (1987). —la Croix et al., Orch. Malawi: 186 (1991). —Geerinck in Fl. Afr. Centr., Orchidaceae pt. 2: 373 (1992). TAB. 108. Type from Madagascar.

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Africa East Tropical Africa Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • South Tropical Africa Zimbabwe
  • Southern Africa KwaZulu-Natal
  • West-Central Tropical Africa Zaire
  • Western Indian Ocean Madagascar
  • Mauritius
  • Réunion
  • Seychelles
  • Asia-Tropical Indo-China Vietnam
  • Malesia Borneo
  • Jawa
  • Malaya
  • Maluku
  • Philippines
  • Sulawesi
  • Sumatera
  • Papuasia New Guinea
  • Solomon Is.
  • Australasia Australia Queensland
  • Pacific Northwestern Pacific Marianas
  • South-Central Pacific Cook Is.
  • Society Is.
  • Tubuai Is.
  • Southwestern Pacific Fiji
  • New Caledonia
  • Samoa
  • Vanuatu


  • 1 Cribb, P.J. & Whistler, W.A. (2011). The Orchids of Tonga, Niue, and the Cook islands. Lankesteriana 11: 96-177.
  • 2 Vermeulen, J. & O'Byrne, P. (2011). Bulbophyllum of Sulawesi: 1-247. Natural history publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.
  • 3 Wood, J.J., Beaman, T.E., Lamb, A., Lun, C.C. & Beaman, J.H. (2011). The Orchids of Mount Kinabalu 2: 1-726. Natural history publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.
  • 4 Bernet, P. (2010). Orchidées de la Réunion: 1-368. Naturae Amici éditions.
  • 5 Lejoly, J. & Geerinck, D. (2010). Flore de la Tshopo (RD Congo): Familles des Malvaceae, Orchidaceae, Sterculiaceae, Tiliaceae. Taxonomania. Revue de Taxonomie et de Nomenclature Botaniques 29: 1-41.
  • 6 Cribb, P., Hermans, J. & Rakotoarinivo, M. (2009). Field Guide to the Orchids of Madagascar: 1-456. Kew Publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 7 Averyanov, L.V. & Averyanova, A.L. (2003). Updated Checklist of the Orchids of Vietnam: 1-101. Vietnam National University Publishing House, Hanoi.
  • 8 Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-71827. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 9 Govaerts, R. (1996). World Checklist of Seed Plants 2(1, 2): 1-492. Continental Publishing, Deurne.
  • 10 I. la Croix and P.J. Cribb (1995) Orchidaceae. Flora Zambesiaca 11 (1)

 Information From

Flora Zambesiaca
Flora Zambesiaca. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/efloras/
Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/efloras/
WCS higher taxonomy
  • C All Rights Reserved
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/ Retrieved 2011 onwards
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