Bulbophyllum - Du Petit - Thouars

A pantropical genus of about 900 epiphytic or lithophytic species, Bulbophyllum is represented in India by 87 species. Sixteen species are known to occur in Kerala. This includes one new name (B. orezii Sathish to replace B. Josephii Muktesh and Stephen 2001, non (Kuntze) Summerh, 1945) and two new state records (B. careyanum (Hook.) Spreng. and B. mysorensis (Rolfe) J.J.sm.

1. Bulbophyllum acutiflorum A. Rich., Ann. Sci. Nat. 2. ser. 15:18.t.7.1841; Seidenfaden 1973:191; Joseph 1987:127.

Cirrhopetalum acutiflorum (A. Rich.) J.D. Hook., Fl. Brit. Ind. 5: 779. 1890; Fischer in Gamble 1928:1420.

Described by Richard based on a collection from Oatacamund in Nilgiris.

Occurrence: Idukki District.

Distribution: Regional Endemic ( Kerala and Tamil Nadu).

2. Bulbophyllum albidum (Wight) J.D.Hook. Fl. Brit. Ind. 5:757, 1890; Fischer in Gamble 1928:1418.

Cirrhopetalum albidum Wight, Ic. Pl. Ind. Or. 5 (1):7.t.1653. 1851.

Originally proposed by Wight based on a collection from 'St. Catharine's Falls near Kotergherry' Tamil Nadu. Till recently this species was united with B. acutiflorum A. Rich, but Garay etal. (1994) resurrected it on account of its particular features of column and stelidia.

Occurrence: Idukki District.

Distribution: Regional Endemic ( Kerala and Tamil Nadu).

3. Bulbophyllum aureum ( J.D.Hook.) J.J.Sm., Bull. Buitz.2.s.8:22.1912; Seidenfaden 1973:187; Abraham and Vatsala 1981:338; Joseph 1987:131.

Cirrhopetalum aureum J.D.Hook., Fl. Brit. Ind 5: 777.1890 and 1891: t. 2057 B; Fischer in Gamble 1928:1419.

Described by J.D.Hooker based solely on a drawing by Jerdon after a collection from Wayanad. This is a beautiful species with golden yellow flowers. In Kerala this species has been found to grow on Syzygium sp., Palaquium ellipticum, Mesua ferrea, etc. Two-flowered inflorescence is the common rule but 1flowered and 3-flowered conditions are also seen.

Occurrence: Trivandrum, Palghat and Wayanad Districts.

Distribution: Regional Endemic ( Kerala and Tamil Nadu).

4. Bulbophylum careyanum (Hook.) Spreng., Syst. 3:732.1826; J.D. Hook. 1890:760; Seidenfaden 1979:145.

Anisopetalum careyanum Hook., Exot. Fl. 2.Pl.149.1825.

One collection (Santhosh 15709, TBGT!) given to us for identification on close scrutiny proved to be this species. This is a new record for the state.

Occurrence: Idukki District.

Distribution: India to Nepal, bhutan, Burma and Thailand.

5. Bulbophyllum elagantulum (Rolfe) J.J.Sm., Bull. Buitenz. Ser. 2, 8:23.1912; Seidenfaden 1973:184; Subba Rao et al. 1976:275; Joseph 1982:126 & 1987:126

Cirrhopetalum elegantulum Rolfe, Gard. Chron. Ser. 3. 9:552. 1891; Fischer in Gamble 1928:1421.

A very distinct species characterized by violet striped flowers and lateral sepals with fat papillae on outer side. Rolfe (1891) described this species based on O'Brien's Collection from Coorg, Karnataka. We found this species growing in evergreen shola forest trees near Kerala - Karnataka border.

Occurrence: Wayanad District.

Distribution: Regional Endemic (Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu).

6. Bulbophyllum fimbriatum (Lindl.) Rchb.f., Walp. Ann. 6:260. 1861; Seidenfaden 1973: 243; Abraham and Vatsala 1981:336.

Cirrhopetalum fimbriatum Lindl., Bot. Reg. Misc. 72.1839; Wight 1851: t. 1655; J.D.Hook. 1890:774; Fischer in Gamble 1928:1420; Santapau and Kapadia 1966:198; Rao 1966:222.

Described by Lindley based on Law's collection from Concan and Canara. Very distinct from all other species of Southern india in being 2-leaved, leafless during flowering and dorsal sepal and petals having characteristic purple fimbriae on margins.

Occurrence: Idukki and Wayanad Districts.

Distribution: Regional Endemic (Western Ghats).

7. Bulbophyllum fuscopurpureum Wight, Ic. Pl. Ind. Or. 5(11): 6. t. 1651. 1851; J.D. Hook. 1890:760; Fischer in Gamble 1928:1418; Abraham and Vatsala 1981:334; Joseph 1982:120 & 1987:120.

Described by Wight based on collections by Jerdons from 'Neilgherris'. Mrs Jerdon who provided the habitat sketch for Wight called it the 'tongue-orchid'.

Occurrence: Idukki District.

Distribution: Regional Endemic (Kerala & Tamil Nadu).

8. Bulbophyllum keralensis Muktesh and Stephen, J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 98(1):87. 2001.

This is a newly described species which the authors believe related to B. macraei (Lindl.) Rchb. f.

Occurrence: Palghat District.

Distribution: Local Endemic (Kerala).

9. Bulbophyllum maskeliyense Livera, Ann. Roy. Bot. Gard. (Peradeniya) 10:142.1924; Alston in Trimen 1931:273; Jayaweera in Dassnayake and Fosberg 1981: 95; Muktesh Kumar et al. 2000:207.

Originally described from Sri Lanka, this species was recently reported as a new record from India.

Occurrence: Palghat District.

Distribution: South India (Kerala) and Sri Lanka.

10. Bulbophyllum mysorense (Rolfe) J.J. Sm., Bull. Buitz. 2.s. 8:26. 1912; Fischer in Gamble 1928:1418; Seidenfaden 1973; Saldanha in Saldanha and Nicolson 1976:815.

Cirrhopetalum mysorense Rolfe, Kew Bull; 1895:34.1895 & 1896: App. II.

Originally described from Karnataka, this is the first report of its occurrence in Kerala. Specimens were collected from Periya in Wayanad.

Occurrence: Wayanad District.

Distribution: Regional Endemic (Karnataka, Kerala).

11. Bulbophyllum orezii Sathish, nom. nov.

B.Josephii Muktesh and Stephen, J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc. 98(1): 89. 2001, non B. josephii (Kuntze) Summerh. 1945.

Muktesh and Stephen (2001) described their B.Josephii overlooking the existence of an earlier B.josephii (Kuntze) Summjerh. (1945) from Africa. The new name B. orezii Sathish, proposed here to replace B. josephii Muktesh and Stephen also commemorates Dr Joseph whose pen name is Orez.

Occurrence: Palghat District.

Distribution: Local Endemic (Kerala).

12.Bulbophyllum rosemarianum Satish, Suresh &Saleem, Rheedea 11(2): 97. 2001 .

This new species was described from Idukki and kannur districtss. It is related to Bulbophyllum tridentatum Par. ex J.D. Hook.of Burma and Thailand but different in having erect non-geotropic leaves, truncate-angulate , acute dorsal sepal , broad-based,oblique falcate-sristate petals and yellow lip with brown papillae throughout except the median furrow. The pleasant fruity smell of this species is very characteristic .

Occurrence :Idukki and Kannur Districts.

Distribution : Local Endemic(Kerala).

13. Bulbophyllum silentvalliensis M.P. Sharma & S.K. Srivastava, J.Jpn.Bot. 68: 209. 1993.

This species was described based on a collection by Sharma from Silent Valley, in Palghat district. It is allied to Bulbophyllum elegantulum but differs in having smaller leaves , lesser number of flowers in inflorescence , dorsal sepal that is glabrous on outer side, lip that is tapered froma slightly dilated grooved to a subacute base and column with narrow wings and erect triangular apical teeth with curved foot.

Occurrence: Palghat District .

Distribution : Local Endemic (Kerala).

14.Bulbophyllum sterile(Lam.) Suresh in Nicolson et al.Interpret. Hort. Malab. 291. 1988; Seidenfaden in Matthew 1999: 1248.

Epidendrum sterile Lam., Encycl.1 : 189. 1783 .

Bulbophyllum neilgherrense Wight , Ic, Pl.Ind. Or.5 (1): 6.t.1650. 1851; J.D. Hook. 1890:761; Fischer in Gamble 1928:1418; Santapau & Kapadia 1966: 195; Joseph 1982: 92 ; Abraham & Vatsala 1981: 334; Seidenfaden in Matthew 1983 : 1591:Joseph 1987: 125.

This is the commonest species at lower elevations occurring in abundance on trees and moist rocks.Nearly related to Bulbophyllum careyanum, but the scape is more slender, racemes larger flowered and bracts very short. Flowers are characteristically foul smelling.

Occurrence : Trivandrum,Quilon , Idukki, Palghat, Kannur , Kasargode and Wayanadu Districts.

Distribution: National Endemic (Maharashtra, Karnataka , Goa, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and NW Himalaya ).

15. Bulbophyllum tremulum Wight, Ic. Pl. Ind. Or. 5(1): 20 .t. 1749. 1851; J.D. Hook. 1890: 763; Fischer in Gamble 1928: 1418; Abraham & Vatsala 1981:331; Joseph 1982 : 92; 1987: 125.

Described by Wight based on Jerdon and Cotton's collections from Wayanad. Strikingly beautiful and interesting species , the perculiarity shaped lip with its rows of acicular hairs, villous sepals and densely ciliate petals are very characteristic.

Occurrence: Trivandrum, Idukki , Palghat Districts.

Distribution : Regional Endemic(karnataka , Kerala, Tamil Nadu).

16. Bulbophyllum xylophyllum Par.& Rchb.f.,Trans. Linn.Soc. 30: 151. 1874;J.D. Hook. 1890:766; seidenfaden 1979: 179.

Bulbophyllum agastyamalayanum Gopalan & Henry, Journ. Bombay Nat. Hist. Oc. 90: 78. 1993.

Belongs to section Globiceps Schltr. characterized by lack of pseudobulbs and flowers densely packed on a head . Gopalan & Henry (1993), who observed these characters in a collection wrongly thought it to represent a new species which they called Bulbophyllum agastyamalayanum.

Occurrence: Trivandrum , Quilon Districts.

Distribution : India, Bhutan through Burma to Thailand.




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