Family : Orchidaceae
Text © Pietro Puccio
English translation by Mario Beltramini
The species is native to New Guinea where it grows as epiphyte in the humid forests at low altitudes.
The neme of the genus is the combination of the Greek substantives “βολβός” (bolbos) = bulb and “φύλλον” (phyllon) = leaf, with reference to the leaves growing at the apex of the pseudobulbs; the specific Latin name refers to the locality near to the river Digul (Digoel in Dutch) where has been found the type species. The Bulbophyllum digoelense J.J.Sm. (1911) is an epiphytic species with ovoid pseudobulbs, about 2 cm long, spaced of 2-5 cm on a creeping rhizome rooting at the nodes, provided at the apex of an oblong leaf, 14-16 cm long and about 3 cm broad, coriaceous, intense green and glossy above.
Inflorescence from the base of the pseudobulb, 30-50 cm long, bearing drooping flowers, of 5-6 cm of diameter, opening gradually once at a time for a long period.
Lanceolate sepals with long pointed apex, of whitish colour with purple veins, 3-3,6 cm long, tri-toothed quadrangular petals about 1 cm long, with central tooth long and filiform, trilobed labellum 2,7 cm long and tiny lateral lobes and lanceolate median lobe with long pointed apex, grooved longitudinally, of dark purple colour, warty.
It reproduces by seed, in vitro, and by division with each section provided of at least 3-4 pseudobulbs.
Bulbophyllum which distinguishes thanks to its big flowers if compared to the plant produced sequentially for months, requires a semi-shaded position, medium-high tempera- tures, 22-32 °C in summer, slightly cooler in winter with night lowest ones not under the 14 °C, high humidity, 70-85%, and constantly moving air.
The waterings must be frequent in summer, more spaced in winter, allowing the substratum to partially dry up before giving water again, utilizing rain water, demineralized or by reverse osmosis.
Weekly fertilizations in summer, monthly in winter, utilizing a hydrosoluble balanced product, with microelements at ¼ the dosage shown on the package.
Cultivable in little deep pots or baskets and rather wide, to allow the pseudobulbs to freely expand, with bark fragments of medium-big size and charcoal, with possible addition of inert materials, such as polystylene, for an excellent aeration of the roots. The repottings are to be done, when necessary at the vegetative restart.
The species is shown in the appendix II of CITES (species whose trade is internationally ruled).
The photographic file of Giuseppe Mazza