The record on medicinal uses for this plant, from 'A Barefoot Doctor's Manual'[
], refers to this plant as being native to China. However, it is only found wild in Japan and Korea, and it is not included in the Flora of China[
]. It is unlikely, therefore that the medicinal uses mentioned in [
] actually apply to this plant[
Bulbophyllum inconspicuum is an evergreen, perennial plant with slender rhizomes on which are produced at intervals a pseudobulb with a single leaf 10 - 35mm long[
The plant is harvesed from the wild for local use as a medicine.
E. Asia - central and southern Japan, Korea
Epiphytic on tree trunks in central and southern Japan[
In Nepal this species is found in evergreen broadleaved forests, where the the rainfal is monsoonal, falling mainly from mid June to mid September. The climate ranges from sub-tropical to warm temperate, winters are warm to mild and frosts are generally few[
The whole plant is cooling, pleasant and light to taste. It moistens the lungs and resolves phlegm, nourishes the yin and the stomach[
It is used in the treatment of haemoptysis in pulmonary tuberculosis and in stomach cancers[
Seed - we have no information on this species but, like all members of the orchid family, the seed of this species is extremely simple, it has a minute embryo surrounded by a single layer of protective cells. It contains very little food reserves and depends upon a symbiotic relationship with a species of soil-dwelling fungus. The fungal hyphae invade the seed and enter the cells of the embryo. The orchid soon begins to digest the fungal tissue and this acts as a food supply for the plant until it is able to obtain nutrients from decaying material in the soil[
]. Surface sow the seed, preferably as soon as it is ripe, in the greenhouse and do not allow the compost to dry out. It is best to use some of the soil that is growing around established plants in order to introduce the fungus, or to sow the seed around a plant of the same species and allow the seedlings to grow on until they are large enough to move.
Division in autumn. Make sure that you keep plenty of soil with each plant. It is also said to be possible to transplant orchids after they have flowered but whilst they are still in leaf. Grow on for at least the first year before potting up and do not plant out until the plants are 2 - 4 years old.