African Plant Database

Bulbophyllum cochleatum Lindl.
Protologue : J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 6: 125 (1862)
Information on the genus : Bulbophyllum
Status for TA : accepted (present)
Synonym(s) Homotypic
 Bulbophyllum cochleatum Lindl. var. cochleatum
Synonym(s) Heterotypic
=Bulbophyllum jungwirthianum Schltr. (1922)
=Bulbophyllum mannii Hook. f. (1864)
=Bulbophyllum pholidotoides Kraenzl. (1914)
=Bulbophyllum talbotii Rendle (1913)
Taxon infra-specific
Bulbophyllum cochleatum Lindl. var. cochleatum
Bulbophyllum cochleatum var. bequaertii (De Wild.) J.J. Verm. (1986)
Bulbophyllum cochleatum var. brachyanthum (Summerh.) J.J. Verm. (1986)
Bulbophyllum cochleatum var. tenuicaule (Lindl.) J.J. Verm. (1986)
Ecology and distribution
Trop. Afr.
Biology : Epiphytic, rarely epilithic, very variable herb; rhizome stout, branching, woody; pseudobulbs 1-10 cm apart, 2-leaved, ± ovoid, 1-14x0,4-1,4 cm, 2-7-angled, edges knobby or not, with purple vertical lines; leaves petiolate (1-25 mm), ± linear, 2-24x0,3-2 cm; inflorescence 6,5-20-60 cm long, (densely) many-flowered (8-180 flowers); peduncle 3-43 cm long; rachis erect to arching, terete to flattened, 1,5-39 cm long, glabrous or finely dark-hairy; bracts boat-shaped, elliptic, 4-12x2,5-8 mm, brown; flowers distichous, not fully open, yellow tinged green with purple, or wholly purple or red, lip dark purple; sepals ± ovate, 2-7x1-4 mm; petals linear, 1-2,5x0,2-0,8 mm; lip linear, 1,5-6,3x0,3-1,8 mm, margins finely papillose or ciliate.
Ecology : Rain-forest, often in outer tree canopy; rain-forest with Albizia, Macaranga, Croton, Ocotea, at river; fringing forest on Syzygium; amongst moss and lichen on Entada abyssinica; grassland; Brachystegia-Uapaca forest; on tree twigs or trunks and branches up to 25 m above ground; on rocks; 470-2400 m alt.
  Vermeulen, in his revision (1987: 39-47), treated B. cochleatum in a very broad sense, dividing it into 5 varieties. These are distinguished from each other by shape of pseudobulbs and by differences in flower details, such as shape of lip, and hairiness of sepals and margins of lip. Short descriptions of the various varieties figure in, e.g., Cheek & al., Pl. Kupe…: 454-455, 2004, and Harvey & al., Pl. Bali Ngemba…: 142-143, 2004; and Cheek & al., Pl. Mt Oku…: 186, 2000. Some authors of floras and flora lists do not agree with Vermeulen’s concept (cf. above under the references cited). Referring to Malawi, I. la Croix & al. (Orchids Malawi, 1991: 194-195) wrote: “When seen in the field…all three species [B. rugosibulbum, B. gravidum, B. cochleatum] consistently appear different, B. rugosibulbum most of all…the pseudobulbs…of B. rugosibulbum are set close together forming a dense mat; those of B. cochleatum form clumps, but are set 1,5-2,5 cm apart, while those of B. gravidum are widely spaced…[10 cm apart] and form a long chain. The lip of B. cochleatum is usually included in the flower, while that of B. rugosibulbum projects. Both B. gravidum and B. cochleatum are predominantly forest plants, while B. rugosibulbum is confined to woodland…there are no intermediates and so, … each species is easily recognisable, … [and] I propose to keep them separate.” There is also common agreement that B. bequarertii should be treated as separate; e.g., Stewart & Campbell (Orchids Kenya, 1996: 28) wrote: “It seems to me that in Kenya B. cochleatum and B. bequaertii are best accepted as two distinct and separate species… [the latter] usually has much longer inflorescences with reddish flowers, whereas B. cochleatum is easily recognised by its yellowish flowers that have a differently shaped, dark purple lip.
  Bioko/Fernando Poo, S. Tomé [Fragm. Florist. Geobot. 43/1: 18, 20 (B. bequarertii, B. cochleatum var. cochleatum and var. gravidum); Acta Bot. Gall. 147: 170, 2000 (incl. B. cochleatum var. tenuicaule); Figueiredo & al. in Bothalia 41, 2011].
  The following varieties, excl. var. gravidum (Lindl.) J. J. Verm., with syn. B. rugosibulbum Summerh., were proposed by Vermeulen 1987 (p. 40-47) and listed by us in our Enumération 3, 1995, (see also our Enum. 3 for further synonyms); our map (p. 000) includes the following varieties: - var. cochleatum [syn.: Phyllorkis mannii (Hook. f.) Kuntze, based on Bulbophyllum mannii Hook. f. 1864, non Rchb. f. in Flora 55: 275, 1872 (= syn. of B. delitescens Hance); the identity of a plant named Bulbophyllum mannii received at the Botanic Gardens of Glasnevin, Dublin, Ireland, from Kew in 1907, is discussed by B. McDonald in Orchidee Hamburg 64: 448-451, 2013. He suggests that this specimen derives from a plant that arrived at Kew from Calcutta in 1890, and named B. mannii and annotated “origin: Tropical Africa”; it seems that the latter plant was misnamed and represents B. ornatissimum (Rchb. f.) J. J. Sm. (bas.: Cirrhopetalum ornatissimum Rchb. f. 1882) from N. India)]; var. cochleatum occurs throughout the range of the species; - var. bequaertii (De Wild.) J. J. Verm. [syn.: Megaclinium bequaertii (De Wild.) De Wild.], is Afromontane, occurring from W Cameroon through to Uganda-Tanzania; - var. brachyanthum (Summerh.) J. J. Verm., very similar to var. bequaertii, occurs in montane forests from E Zaire-Uganda-Rwanda-Burundi-Kenya-Tanzania; - var. tenuicaule (Lindl.) J. J. Verm. [syn.: B. thomense Summerh.] is Afromontane, occurring from Nigeria through to Uganda-Kenya and on the Gulf of Guinea Islands.
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Record n°175915 modified 2007-04-03
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