Scientific name: Taeniophyllum phitamii Aver.English name: Vietnamese name: Đai diệp phi tâmOther name:
Leafless miniature herb with stem 0.5-1.5 mm tall; roots radiate, terete, flexuose, greenish, to 6 cm long. Inflorescence filiform, to 2 cm tall, brownish-red, densely rugose-glandulose. Rachis 2-15 mm long, with 4-22 persistent, triangular floral bracts in two rows. Flowers one or two at a time, not widely opening, 0.8-1 mm across and 2-2.5 mm long, bright red to red-brownish. Pedicel and ovary perpendicular, terete, 1.2-2.2 mm long, glandular verruculose. Sepals and petals lanceolate, joined to the middle forming narrow tube 1-1.2 mm long, free apical parts 0.8-1.2 mm long, each with broad keels abaxially. Lip spurred, joined dorsally to lateral sepals; blade simple, narrowly ovate, 2.2-2.6 mm long, with low fleshy keel, apically fleshy, with inflexed, hook-like acute bristle. Spur broadly conical to subglobose, 0.5-0.8 mm long and wide. Column 0.4 mm tall and wide, operculum hemispheric, with insignificant beak. Pollinia 4.
Perennial monopodial epiphytic leafless miniature herb with erect abbreviated stem 0.5-1(1.5) mm tall bearing few spirally arranged roots. Roots (3)4-7(10), radiate, terete to slightly flattened, light dull gray-greenish to light dull olive-brownish, long-spreading, to 4(6) cm long, (0.5)0.6-0.8(1) mm in diam. (when fresh), flexuose, creeping and densely appressed to substratum. Inflorescence slender erect raceme, to 1.5(2) cm tall, peduncle, rachis and bracts brownish-red, densely rugose-glandulose. Peduncle filiform, (3)4-5(6) mm long, straight or slightly bent at apex, with few insignificant brownish scales at the base. Rachis straight or slightly flexuose, indistinctly zig-zag, (2)3-12(15) mm long, bearing (4)6-17(22) distant floral bracts alternating in two rows. Floral bracts persistent, alternate, triangular, obtuse, recurved, concave conduplicate, 0.6-0.8(1) mm long, 0.5-0.6 mm broad. Flowers appearing in succession near rachis apex, one or two at a time, lasting only one or two days, not opening widely, about 0.8-1 mm across and 2-2.5 mm long, bright red to red-brownish. Pedicel and ovary perpendicular to the rachis, terete, indistinctly ridged, slightly broadening at the middle, (1.2)1.6-2(2.2) mm long, 0.6-0.8(1) mm in diam., sparsely glandular verruculose. Sepals and petals 1-veined, acute, joined to the middle forming narrow tube about 1-1.2 mm long, their apical parts free, 0.8- 1(1.2) mm long, straight to hardly recurved, rather fleshy, each with broad keels abaxially. Sepals broadly lanceolate, acute, 2-2.5 mm long, 0.8 mm wide, median sepal slightly shorter and narrower. Petals lanceolate, acute, slightly shorter than lateral sepals, with recurved margin in free part. Lip spurred, joined dorsally to lateral sepals on one third of its length, with two veins confluent near the middle, blade simple, triangular narrowly ovate, navicular, 2.2-2.5(2.6) mm long, 0.6-0.8(1) mm wide near the base, with low fleshy longitudinal keel on the disc, in apical part with fleshy margin and erect, prominent, inflexed, hook-like acute bristle. Spur broadly conical to subglobose, 0.5-0.6(0.8) mm long and wide. Column very small, about 0.4 mm tall and wide, operculum hemispheric as wide as column, with insignificant beak. Pollinia 4, stipe and viscidium very small, hardly visible.
Etymology:—Species is named after its discoverer and orchid enthusiast—Mr. Nguyen Phi Tam.Habitat, phenology and conservation status:—Miniature canopy and branch epiphyte. Submontane broadleaved evergreen forests on granite, often found on steep mountain slopes. 1200-1300 m. Fl. March-May. Very rare. Estimated IUCN Red List status—DD.
Distribution:—Vietnam: Lam Dong province (Dalat City area).
Species may be close to T. rubrum Ridley (1896: 364) known from Kalimantan and Malacca Peninsula, having similar reddish inflorescence, floral bracts and flowers. Meanwhile, the new taxon differs in having much smaller, bright red, hardly opening flowers, many flowered inflorescences, a densely glandular verruculose rachis, floral bract and ovary, as well as containing fleshy, keeled, acute sepals and petals. Discovered species is a lone red- flowering member of the genus in mainland Asia. It was found in association with Chiloschista exuperi (Guillaumin 1957: 346) Garay (1972: 166), another endemic of southern Indochina.