Barkeria spectabilis Bateman ex. Lindl.
The Eye-catching or Showy Barkeria
Epidendrum spectabile, nom. illeg. (1862)
Barkeria lindleyana subsp. spectabilis (1971)
A slow-creeping or subcaespitose deciduous herb with an epiphytic habit growing up to 10-25 cm. Roots: thickened, terete, long, minimally branched, white in color with green tips. Stems: grayish-white, thickened, laterally compressed with 5-7 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: 1-4 lanceolate to narrowly elliptic, distichous, 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, dense raceme, from the new growth with an abbreviated peduncle, 5-10 cm. in length and with 2-10 faintly-fragrant or odorless, pendant flowers. Some exceptional wild specimens have been observed with 15-20 flowers, but in-situ specimens with more than 3-4 flowers are rare and any plant with double-digit flower counts is exceedingly rare. Flowers: Showy, 4.5-7.0 cm in diameter, narrow tepals in pink, lilac or white tinged with pink. The lip is white with pink margins and with spotting or irregular blotches of purple or magenta concentrated near the apex which if numerous may coalesce to form a blotch. The dorsal surface of the narrow, straight, subtrigonous column is pink suffused with dark purple spots mainly along the margins with more intense red or magenta blushing at the apex. The column wings are small and inconspicuous. The sepals are narrowly elliptic and erect, reflexed. Petals are laterally extended, lanceolate, and arched with slightly deflexed tips. The lip is entire, ovate to oblong but with tremendous variability in shape, fused to the base of the column and apiculate. Basally, the lip clasps the column, further up the midlobe is generally flat or lightly crisped with undulating margins while the distal portion may be flat, deflexed or conduplicate. The callus is white with red lines underneath the column, but is yellow and white apically. It has three longitudinal keels, the middle one is the most prominent and extends all the way to the tip.