Lindley Again. Bulbophyllum lobbii Lindl., Bali Botanic Gardens, Candikuning, Bedugul, Bali, Indonesia
John Lindley (1799-1865) again (see my posting of Epidendrum radicans on January 28, 2011)! An aesthete of nature he was, besides being a careful observer and describer. In 1847 he waxes eloquent on the shape and colors of this Bulbophyllum, and he sums up with an exclamation: 'We know of no species of the genus comparable for beauty.' He was apparently especially taken by its 'cinnamon sprinkle'.
Lindley named it for Thomas Lobb (1817-1894) who together with his brother William (1809-1864) collected plants in far-off climes for the famous Veitch Nurseries of Exeter. Thomas collected on Java, Indonesia, from 1843-1847, and he'd sent this orchid directly from there to England. Much to the enthusiasm of Lindley, who immediately describes this 'New Garden Plant.' Rather caustically he takes a bit of a swipe at Hooker's Herbarium where this plant according to him is misidentified. Continuing, Lindley writes: 'We have named this fine plant after Mr. Thomas Lobb, whose zeal and ability, as a botanical collector, are beyond all praise, and whose dried specimens are unrivalled for beauty, and admirable selection'. It's fitting that Lobb be remembered in such words, for the low, ivy-covered marker on his grave at Devoran, Cornwall, is starkly devoid of anything except for his name and year of death, and his age.
This is one of many orchids that was graciously shown to me by an intrepid orchid hunter of today, Made Raharja Pendit, of the Bali Botanic Gardens. To him I am grateful, too, for showing me a recently discovered Bulbophyllum from Sulawesi Selatan. Perhaps I'll post a photo later, if I'm satisfied it's good enough.