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Volume 78, 1950
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Key to the Species

Labellum sessile, bifid, without calli mucronata
Labellum clawed, entire, with basal calli autumnalis
(i)

Earina mucronata Ldl., Bot. Reg., 1835, t. 1699.

  • E. aestivalis Cheesmn., Trans. N.Z. Inst., 51, 1919, 93.
  • E. quadrilobata Col., Trans. N.Z. Inst., 15, 1883, 325.

Epiphytic on trees, ferns and rocks. Occasionally terrestrial, usually by the plant falling from above and seldom through germinating on the ground. Stems numerous, up to 90 cm. long, pendulous, slender, compressed, marked with black spots. Leaves 1–20, alternate, up to 15 cm. long by 4 mm. broad, linear acuminate, glabrous green, coriaceous. Flowers minute, creamy-white, 1–40 in a branched terminal panicle. Floral bracts minute, acute, finely striate. Sepals similar, spreading, the margins tending to infold. Petals rather broader, minutely crenulate. Labellum pale orange to almost red, sessile, without calli, 3–lobed, the midlobe bifid and abruptly deflexed. Column minute, erect. Stigma broad, high beneath the anther. Rostellum between the bases of the anther-cells. Anther terminal, 2–celled, fringed by minute column-wings. Pollinia 4, with or without caudicles, 2 to each anther-cell. Pollen waxy.

Distribution. Endemic; common throughout the North and South Islands, extending to Stewart and the Chatham Islands.

Flowers mainly September-November, with occasional robust coastal epharmones flowering between December and May, sea-level-2,000 ft.

  • (ii) Earina autumnalis (Forst. f.) Hook, f., Flor. Nov. Zel., 1, 1853, 239.

    • E. suaveolens Ldl., Bot. Reg., 1843, 61.
    • E. alba Col., Trans. N.Z. Inst., 18, 1886, 207.
    • Cymbidium autumnale Sw., Nor. Act. Upsal., 6, 1799, 72.
    • Epidendrum autumnale Forst. f., Prodr., 1786, n. 319.
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Epiphytic on trees and rocks. Stems numerous, pendulous, the panicle usually turning to become erect. Leaves 1–10, suberect, curved, linear acuminate, up to 8 cm. long by 8 mm. broad. Flowers 1–40 in a dense terminal, hardly branched panicle. Floral bracts minute, sheathing, deciduous. Flowers pale greenish-white, with irregular black markings. Sepals similar, ovate-obtuse. Petals rather broader, minutely crenulate. Labellum white, oblong, clawed at the base, minutely crenulate also. Lamina with 2 erect basal calli and 2 variously merging, central yellow splashes. Column erect with a conspicuous basal swelling. Anther terminal, 2–celled. Pollinia attached at the base by a caudicle to the prominent orange rostellum.

Distribution. Endemic: common throughout the North, South and Stewart Islands.

Flowers March-June, sea-level-2,000 ft.