Barkeria melanocaulon A. Rich. & Galeotti
The Dark-stemmed Barkeria
Epidendrum melanocaulon (1862)
Barkeria halbingeri (1973)
A slowly creeping or subcaespitose deciduous herb with a lithophytic, rarely epiphytic, growth habit and reaching 75 cm. in height. Roots: thickened, terete, long, minimally branched, white in color with green tips. Stems: grayish-white, thickened, laterally compressed with 3-8 internodes, 3-15 cm. in length. Older stems are covered with scarious, papery bracts while the newly developing stem is covered by imbricating folicaceous and non-foliaceous bracts. Leaves: 3-6 elliptic to narrowly ovate, coriaceous to subsucculent, present only on the newly developing growth and connected to the tubular clasping stem bracts via an articulated joint. Inflorescence: terminal, erect raceme, 12-60 cm. in length, thin, greenish-purple in color and with 3-25 non-fragrant
flowers. Flowers: Showy, concolorous, 2.5-4.0 cm in diameter, pale lilac to pink in coloration with broad segments. The dorsal surface of the column is greenish-yellow and suffused with dark purple blotches over its entirety with large, prominent wings. The sepals are elliptic to oblong, erect, and reflexed. Petals are upward-facing, broadly elliptic, and slightly recurved. The lip is
ovate-cordiform to ovate-subrectangular, fused to the base of the column, with the tip truncate and emarginated. The basal part of the lip clasps the column, the midlobe is generally flat while the distal portion is raised, conduplicate and with undulating margins. The callus is white with three longitudinal keels, the middle one is the most prominent and extends to the apex.