Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cirrhopetalum flabellum-veneris

Cirrhopetalum flabellum-veneris - Flower photo by Richard LindbergI have had this Cirrhopetalum flabellum-veneris for a few months but I just now added it to the catalog. It was one of the plants on the raffle table when I had a winning ticket. If there is nothing I want for my collection on a table, I look for either blooming or big enough to divide. I picked it up and brought it home to wait for flowers so that I could take a picture.

Cirrhopetalum flabellum-veneris - Plant photo by Richard LindbergCirrhopetalum flabellum-veneris grows throughout southeast Asia on mossy rocks and trees. It is warm to hot growing and may bloom anytime in summer.

This species has been classified as both a Cirrhopetalum and a Bulbophylum., normally my authority of choice, has it as a Bulbophylum. In this case, I will stubbornly follow MY rule on this. None of your fancy "science", if there is a fan, it is a Cirrhopetalum.

Now to divide it and mount it. I want to take advantage of the growing season to get the pieces firmly attached and possible get another flower picture with more flowers in the fan.


  1.'re gonna hate me for saying this, but actually I think the whole taxon of Cirrhopetalum is currently considered defunct and entirely subsumed within Bulbophyllum, so it doesn't matter whether it has an umbel or not (which wasn't really the defining factor for Cirr. anyway, as I understand it).

    The way I've had this lumping explained to me is that Garay decided none of the criteria used to put a species in Cirr. and not Bulb. were distinct enough to warrant considering it a separate genus. Too much tom-foolery about rolling or not of lateral sepals or somesuch...

    Of course, I still call tenebrosa a Laelia and cernua a Sophronitis, so ain't I the hypocrite? ;-)

    Anyway, it's a cool species whatever you call it! Any odor? I've noticed that a lot of the supposedly 'scentless' Bulbos have interesting mushroomy or earthy scents, usually in the mid to late morning.

  2. No odor that I noticed from the flowers.

    I don't blame the messenger. I don't know what are the criteria being considered insignificant, I just want to be able to look at the tag and know that the flower will be one form or the other.

  3. Good point. I always end up calling them 'Cirrhopetaloid' for the same reasons anyway, so I'm really just splitting hairs. :-) Splitting (of big genera) is useful!

    Almost all the sectional divisions so far in Bulbophyllum and Dendrobium seem to be based on morphology. The instances of chloroplastic DNA studied in Den. have mostly served to establish some rough ideas of gene flow and geographic origin. It's going to be REALLY interesting when the molecular folks start publishing on these genera, I'm sure with name changes a-plenty.