S. Y. Hu & Barretto
With the inadequate herbarium and literature in Hongkong,
we sent the illustrations to T. Tang. In reply Tang wrote that
it was close to Saccolobium calceolare (Buch.-Ham)
Lindl. On receipt of this information we consulted Holttum's
book on Malayan Orchids and found this name being treated as
a synonym of Gastrochilus calceolaris D. Don. As our
specimen was very different from Holttum's description, we then
sent the illustrations to Holttum for consultation. He wrote
in reply: "Your specimen is not G. calceolaris,
as you can see from the shape of the midlobe in my drawing.
Your midlobe is a different shape and the midlobe of G.
calceolaris has thick hairs on it whereas yours has none.
I have looked through the description of species of Gastrochilus
in Schlechter's work on the orchids of China (1919) and also
in Seidenfaden and Smitinand's work on the orchids of Thailand,
and Gagnepain's on the orchids of Indochina, and I cannot find
anything to match your plant. I think you would be justified
in describing it as a new species. . . . . . . the distinctive
character of the Hong Kong Gastrochilus is the shape
of midlobe of the lip (notched at the apex) and the fact that
it has apparently no hairs, calli or other excrescences, nor
a fringed margin."
Holttum went on to say: "I note that it was found on Victoria
Peak, Hong Kong Island. It is strange that no one found it previously.
Saccolabium is a generic name established by Blume
for a small-flowered orchid from Java. Lindley included in this
genus a number of other orchids which had received other generic
names, and Gastrochilus was one of these. When J. J.
Smith and others came to know more species of orchids from southeastern
Asia, they decided that Lindley had lumped too many different
things together under Saccolabium, and revised some
other names which they considered to represent distinct groups
deserving of generic rank. I am of the opinion that Gastrochilus
should be recognised as a genus distinct from Saccolablum,
though it is much nearer to the original Saccolabium
than is Rhyncostylis, which Lindley also included in
We take this opportunity of naming the new species of Gastrochilus,
a genus hitherto unrecorded from Hong Kong, in honour of Professor
R. E. Holttum, the foremost orchidologist for southeastern Asia.
Found in Hong Kong by our team
(A section added to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of The
Chinese University of Hong Kong)