Barkeria palmeri (Rolfe) Schltr.
Epidendrum palmeri (1893)
Barkeria chinensis subsp. palmeri (1971)
An erect, caespitose, deciduous herb with an epiphytic habit that grows 4-45 cm. Roots: thickened, fleshy, flattened, whitish-gray to greenish-gray. Stems: thin, fusiform, pedunculate (stalked), grayish-white, somewhat compressed with 3-7 internodes, 2-15 cm. in length. Older stems are covered with scarious, papery bracts. Leaves: 2-6, narrowly lanceolate, acuminate, distichous, basally obtuse or truncate, conduplicate, flexible, abaxially carinate, subsucculent, present only on the newly developing growth and appressed to the stem via an articulated joint. The leaves are normally green but in high light conditions they can present as reddish-green. Inflorescence: terminal, erect (sometimes arching), 30 cm long raceme or panicle with 1-4 branches from the new growth with leaves present or drying at anthesis. The subterete peduncle is covered with scarious, white, tubular bracts with 2-100 simultaneous flowers on a congested rachis often tinted dark wine-purple. The pedicel is thin, pink-purple in coloration, with an inconspicuous, ventral decurrent swelling denoting the position of a functional, shallow cuniculus (nectary) just below the perianth. Flowers: Attractive, resupinate, pleasantly fragrant diurnally, 1.5-3.0 cm in diameter, somewhat flattened dorsiventrally with the pinkish-lilac tepals extended in the same plane in a flabellate arrangement not surpassing 180 ° and projecting forward over the lip. The colors are extremely variable and have been reported as bright pink, pale pink, purplish-pink, purple and mutant variants are known that are white, semi-alba and even caerulea. Lip is usually concolorous with the tepals (sometimes white) occasionally with yellow at the base with the keels creamy-white and a symmetrical arrangement of two rows of ascending red or reddish-purple streaks on either side of the keels radiating over the pattern of raised veins. Sepals are subequal, linear-lanceolate to lanceolate, acute, adaxially carinate and apically recurved. The lateral sepals oblique, cuneate basally, extended, and often concave or with revolute lateral margins while the dorsal sepal is erect. Petals erect, lanceolate-elliptic, acute, and flat or longitudinally concave. Lip is entire, extended, flat to slightly concave, obovate to elliptic, basally cuneate and adnate to the column. The margins of the lip are erose to minutely denticulate while the edges are crisped. The basal callus is a raised platform, elliptic, white with purple blushing and deeply sulcate with two oblong horizontal, fleshy lamella and raised veins sometimes with verrucose thickenings that radiate outward from the callus towards the lip margins. From the distal end of the callus three white (sometimes tinged yellow), verrucose, longitudinal keels extend forward with the medial one almost reaching the apex of the lip. The column is straight, subtrigonous, and dorsiventrally flattened into a obtriangular shape with a sulcate ventral surface. Column is dorsally pink, ventrally whitish-green, short, clavate with two membranaceous, oblong column wings and capped with a prominent, fleshy, magenta-pink, (sometimes red or orange-red), saddle-shaped, bilobular anther cap. The clinandrium is topped with three triangular projections.