Friday, January 22, 2010

Bulbophyllum longiflorum

This is one of my more unusual species orchids I grow. One of my favorite genera of orchids to collect is Bulbophyllum and with nearly 3000 species it is one of the largest in the orchid family. I've managed to accumulate a dozen or so species so far. This particular species has a widespread natural range but during my research for this post I've found that it is threatened, vulnerable or endangered in the areas where it is native.(1)(2) They inhabit rain forests from sea level up to 5300 feet. It has pseudobulbs up to 1 3/4" long and spaced about 2" apart on the rhizome which is creeping. The single leaf can be up to 6" long.The inflorescence is up to 8" long and can bear six to eight flowers that form a semi-circle at the end.(3) The flowers have a unpleasant smell to put it mildly. This grows outside since it is a large species (and the smell). I do pamper this a bit with extra water all year to imitate the moist conditions it is native to.

Family: Orchidaceae •
Genus: Bulbophyllum •
Species: longiflorum (Thouars 1822)
Country of Origin: Africa, Tropical Asia, Australasia, Pacific Islands •
Common Names: N/A •

(3)Botanicas Orchids 2002

Creative Commons License
Bulbophyllum longiflorum by Eric Bronson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at


Albert Huntington said...

Nice pictures! I have two cirrhopedilum, or perhaps bulbophyllums, in flower now as well. What interests me is the infloresences BOTH appear to be identical to the one you posted here ... but I received the material labeled Cirrhopedilum trisetum and Cirrhopedilum umbellatum many years ago. Are you sure of the identification of your plant?

I likE plants! said...

Yes I believe I do have the proper id if you follow the first link in my post you'll see that Cirrhopetalum umbellatum is a synonym for Bulbophyllum longiflorum and in Botanica's Orchids(2002) it was listed as the same. Here's Google images you let me know your input. I wouldn't want to have something labeled incorrectly.

Albert Huntington said...

Thanks for the info! Apparently, you do have the right name here. TROPICOS also lists an amazing number of synonyms, and I found an interesting analysis of how B. longiflorum is actually the type specimen for the whole genus Cirrhopetalum ( which apparently, I cannot spell ).

Guess I'll have to go and change my labels. Someday.

Meanwhile, after some more research, it appears that Cirrhopetalum trisetum is basically the Phillipine version of Bulbophyllum longiflorum - considered synonymous by many as well.

Pictures of my flowers:

Hort Log said...

With such a wide geographical range, you can expect this plant to be pretty diverse. Many forms with different colours and length of the sepals can be found. I would say B. pulchrum is very similar also but some even suggested Cirr strangularium to be conspecific - although the flowers are much larger. I have even seen a leopard-spotted form at a nursery.