Herbarium Digital Library


Category: Plants and Orchids
Date Posted: 2006-10-18

THIS GENUS OF ABOUT FIVE MEMBERS IS CLOSELY ALLIED TO the Phalaenopsis and Sarcochilus groups and has only one representative, K. philippinensis, in the Philippines. The genus Kingiella was originally described as Doritis but Dr. R. A. Rolfe's interpretation of the species now assigned to this genus and allied Phalaenopsis, in 1917, resulted in changing the generic name to Kingiella. This name was proposed by Rolfe in memory of Sir George King who contributed extensively to the study of Indian Orchidology. The five species assigned to this group are distributed throughout southeast Asia, and the surrounding Malaysian islands.

Kingiella philippinensis is a small Phalaenopsis-like epiphytic plant with elliptical, oblong, dark green, fleshy leaves about 2 1/2 to three inches long and one to 1 1/2 inches wide. The branch flower stem is about two to three inches long and the florescence consists of six to eight flowers, each about one-half to three-quarters of an inch across. The flowers are pale yellow-white, with rose pink lines on the three-lobed labellum.

This species was originally described by J.J.Smith in his Orchids of Java as Phalaenopsis bebe. It is widely distributed throughout the Philippines, having been reported from Mt. Mariveles, Bataan, Rizal, Panay, and Mindanao Island. It has been collected by the authors from the Cagayan area, north central Mindanao, as well as Tagaytay Ridge, forty miles south of Manila. The plants are found from sea level to about two thousand feet elevation.

This species is of no great horticultural importance but is of interest because of its close alliance to the Phalaenopsis and the fact that it is often found associated with that species in the forest. In cultivation, this plant should be given similar treatment as the Phalaenopsis.

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