Phreatia polyantha Schltr. 1913 SECTION Phreatia Photo by Karl Senghas and The Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Jany Renz Herbaria Website

Inflorescence Photo courtesy of Wolfgang H. Bandisch. Photo By Peter O'Byrne Copyright 1998, 1999 All rights reserved.

Common Name The Many-Flowered Phreatia

Flower Size 1/16" [1.2 mm]

This small sized, hot growing, monopodial epiphytic species is found in Papua and New Guinea growing in full sun to light shade at right angles to lower tree trunks of large sized trees in seasonally dry, lowland rainforests, at elevations around 400 meters with a root ball growing over the old stem which can breed keikis, giving rise to a small mass of plants. This fan-shaped species blooms in the fall on a lateral, arising from the leaf axils, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2" [4 to 6 cm] long, erect to arcuate, racemose, many [50], tiny flowered inflorescence with ovate-lanceolate bracts that carries successive opening flowers, opening from the base and moving outwards.

Schlechter states that the flowers are white. This species is very similar to P kaniensis, P loriae, P vaginata and P myriantha but this one does not dry black when preserved, has larger sheaths and pedicels, thinner leaves and is not keeled [carinate] beneath.

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; *Orchidaceae of German New Guinea Schlechter 1913; Flora Malesiana: Orchids of New Guinea Vol 5 Schuiteman & D de Vogel 2008