Barkeria uniflora (Lex.) Dressler & Halb.
The Single-flowered Barkeria
Pachyphyllum uniflorum (1825)
Barkeria elegans (1838)
Epidendrum elegans nom. illeg. (1862)
An erect, subcaespitose deciduous herb with an epiphytic habit growing between 15-100 cm. in height. Roots: flattened against the porophyte host or subterete, long, rarely branched, grayish-white in color with green tips. Stems: grayish-white, slightly thickened, fusiform with 4-9 internodes, 3-26 cm. in length. Young stems are green and sometimes with purplish-red streaks while older stems are covered with scarious, papery bracts. Leaves: 2-7, distichous, linear to lanceolate, acuminate to subacute, succulent but still flexible, present only on the newly developing growth and appressed to the stem via an articulated joint. Leaves are olive-green sometimes with reddish-purple streaks. Inflorescence: terminal, erect, lax, pauciflorous panicle with 2-3 branches (rarely a raceme), from the new growth, on a peduncle covered by tubular bracts (scarious at anthesis), 5-50 cm. in length with 1-35 successive flowers with 3-8 open at any time. Flowers: attractive, resupinate, inodorous, 3.5-8.5 cm diameter spread, lip and column descending in their natural positions. Tepals are lilac-pink to white blushed with pink with the interior surfaces conspicuously lighter than the exterior, and extended over the lip in a fan-shaped arrangement. Sepals are subequal, arched, concave, with 7-9 veins, narrowly elliptic to lanceolate and acute to subobtuse. Petals are wider than the sepals, extended, rhombic-obovate to elliptic-ovate, acute to obtuse, basally cuneate, with nine veins, apically either convex or concave and longitudinally sulcate on the dorsal surface. Lip is white or very pale pink with a flabellate or transversally elliptic magenta blotch near the apex, basally fused to column, obovate to subpandurate, entire, lateral margins round or emarginated, convex with the basal margins raised and grasping the column. The callus has two raised keels pigmented in dark magenta that basally delimit a narrow canal and further forward diverge to form a tapering fovea with a mucro at its base. Apically, the lip has 3-7 flattened and inconspicuous keels that arise at the terminus of the column. Column is greenish-white, sometimes tinted with sufficient yellow or red to give it a salmon-colored pigmentation with purple spotting over the spine and two or three evident “eyespots” at the apex, wide, strongly adpressed to the lip, elliptic-subrhombic, trigonous in cross-section at the base otherwise severely dorsiventrally compressed, succulent and with two wide, extended column wings. The column is dorsally carinate, topped with two lateral but inconspicuous teeth at the apex while ventrally it is deeply sulcate with a longitudinal depression that is delimited by two wide keels covered with transparent conic papillae. Anther cap is very pale yellow.