Nephelaphyllum cristatum Gagnep. 1932

Flowers Photos by Orchidphotos and Flickr Orchid Photo Website


Common Name The Combed Nephelaphyllum [refers to the callus on the lip] - In China Yun Ye Lan - The Cloud Leaf Orchid

Flower Size 1 to 1.4" [2.5 to 3.5 cm]

Found in Hainan China and Hong Kong at elevations of 200 to 500 meters in humus in the shade of sparse shrubs or under larger bamboo or along ravines as a miniature to small sized, hot to warm growing terrestrial with a short rhizome giving rise to slender, elongate, hardly distinct pseudobulbs carrying a solitary, thick, fleshy, ovate, triangular ovate to cordate, acute to apiculate, brittle, with an uneven cloud like pattern, whitish to greyish green to dull purplish brown above, delicate olive-green with deep rose marbling when young, shiny purple beneath, gradually narrowing below into the short, deeply channeled, petiolate base leaf that blooms in the later spring on an erect, apical, fleshy, 6" to 11.6" [15 to 29 cm] long, dull green, strongly variegated dark red, 3 to 5 flowered inflorescence with 1 to 2, sterile sheathing bracts and a straw colored cataphyl at the base, and reflexed, linear-lanceolate, crimson floral bracts with non-resupinate flowers.

This species is often cited as a synonym of N tenuiflorum but there is a major difference in the stature of the flower as well as in the papillae on the callus of the lip. In N tenuiflorum the 3 rows of separate fleshy papillae are fused to form short plate like keels while N cristaum has 3 plate like keels with the upper margins lacinate with the many incisions narrow and deep.


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Flora of China Vol 25 Zhengyi, Raven & Deyuan 2009 as N tenuiflorum; Flora of China Vol 25 Illustrations Zhengyi, Raven & Deyuan 2010 as N tenuiflorum drawing fide; The Atlas of Wild Orchids in Hainan Island, China Shenyan and Junmei 2010 as N tenuiflorum photo fide; The Wild Orchids of Hong Kong Barretto, Cribb and Gale 2011 drawing/photo fide;