Bulbophyllum longiflorum Thouars
Family: Orchidaceae
Bulbophyllum longiflorum image
W.A. Whistler  
Indigenous to Samoa, ranging from the Cook Islands to tropical Africa. In Samoa, it occurs on ‘Upolu and Savai‘i in foothill to montane forest, reported at ca. 500 m elevation. No Samoan names or uses have been reported.

Epiphytic orchid creeping by means of a stout elongate rhizome bearing pseudobulbs at 5–6 cm intervals, these conical, 1.5–3.5 × 0.8–1.2 cm, one-leafed at the tip. Leaf simple, alternate; blade erect, oblong, 9–16 × 2–3.5 cm, cuneate at the base, obtuse at the tip; surfaces glabrous; margins entire; petiole 1.5–3 cm long. Inflorescence a suberect to spreading, 4–9-flowered umbel-like raceme up to 24 cm long, rachis 12–30 cm long; flowers elongate, creamy to yellow, blotched with red to purple, lip yolk-yellow to purple, ovary ca. 3 mm long. Sepals unequal, dorsal sepal concave, ovate, with long cilia apically, ca. 8 × 4–5 mm; lateral sepals ligulate, fused in upper two-thirds, 2.5–3 × 0.4–0.6 cm. Petals ovate, ciliate, 0.6–0.9 × 0.3–0.4 cm. Lip fleshy, ligulate, 4–5 × 2.5–3 mm, recurved; column ca. 3 mm long with apical down-curved stelidia; foot ca. 4 mm long. Fruit a capsule oblanceolate in outline, up to 5 cm long. Flowering reported in Samoa in March, fruiting in April, both in Fiji from April to December, but both probably occurring throughout the year.

Distinguishable by its epiphytic orchid habit; creeping rhizomes bearing pseudobulbs 1.5–3.5 cm high, these bearing leaves singly; 4–9-flowered false umbel on a peduncle 12–30 cm long; and showy cream to yellow flowers blotched with red to purple, with a yellow to purple lip.


Whistler 1769—Epiphyte in lowland forest at “Ā‘opo west” forestry plot at 300 m elevation.


Flynn 3600—Riparian forest east of Vaipū at 320 m elevation.

Whistler 1987—Epiphyte in foothill forest above Utumapu at ca. 375 m elevation.