, Volume 255, Issue 2, pp 485–499 | Cite as

Floral features of two species of Bulbophyllum section Lepidorhiza Schltr.: B. levanae Ames and B. nymphopolitanum Kraenzl. (Bulbophyllinae Schltr., Orchidaceae)

  • Natalia Wiśniewska
  • Agnieszka K. KowalkowskaEmail author
  • Małgorzata Kozieradzka-Kiszkurno
  • Agnieszka T. Krawczyńska
  • Jerzy Bohdanowicz
Original Article


Two representatives of section Lepidorhiza, previously sometimes considered conspecific, Bulbophyllum levanae and Bulbophyllum nymphopolitanum, demonstrated both similarities and differences in floral features. There were significant differences in the length of sepals and micromorphological features of the labellum. In both species, osmophores are located on the extended apices of sepals and possibly on petals. An abundance of proteins in tepals is probably associated with the unpleasant scent of the flowers, whereas the thin wax layers on the epidermis are probably involved in the maintenance of the brilliance of floral tepals, which strongly attracts flies. In all tepals of both species, we noted the presence of dihydroxyphenolic globules in the cytoplasm after staining with FeCl3. Comparison with ultrastructure results revealed that they were associated with plastids containing plastoglobuli. The most remarkable feature was the presence of a prominent periplasmic space in the epidermal cells of both investigated species. Furthermore, in the labellum of B. levanae, the cuticle contained microchannels. The combination of periplasmic space and microchannels has not previously been recorded.


Bulbophyllum Bulbophyllum levanae Bulbophyllum nymphopolitanum Histochemistry Lepidorhiza Micromorphology Orchidaceae Ultrastructure 



The authors are very grateful to Univ.-Prof. Dr. Michael Kiehn and Anton Sieder from Botanischer Garten der Universität Wien, Christopher Ryan and Bala Kompalli from Royal Botanic Gardens - Kew, as well as to the Botanical Garden of the Jagiellonian University and Prague Botanical Garden for making specimens available. We thank Rudolf Hromniak and Paolo Rossoni ( for providing the photos for this article and dr. hab. Bartosz Płachno for helpful hand with these research. We also thank the anonymous reviewers for valuable commentary on the manuscript.

Funding information

This work was supported by the National Science Centre in Poland (5804/B/PO1/2010/39) and by the University of Gdansk, Faculty of Biology (538-L160-B947-15).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Natalia Wiśniewska
    • 1
  • Agnieszka K. Kowalkowska
    • 1
    Email author
  • Małgorzata Kozieradzka-Kiszkurno
    • 1
  • Agnieszka T. Krawczyńska
    • 2
  • Jerzy Bohdanowicz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Plant Cytology and EmbryologyUniversity of GdańskGdańskPoland
  2. 2.Faculty of Materials Science and EngineeringWarsaw University of TechnologyWarsawPoland

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