AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Phaius occidentalis Schltr. in O.Warburg (ed.), Kunene-Sambesi Exped.: 211 (1903).
Description:
Glabrous terrestrial herb 50–70 cm tall, the whole plant turning blue-black when damaged or dried. Roots many, arising from a pseudobulb-like structure, fleshy, 2–3 mm in diameter. Leaves 5–6 rosulate; leaf c. 16 × 5 cm, elliptic-lanceolate to obovate, plicate; petiole up to 5.5 cm long. Inflorescence densely 5–6-flowered; flowers erect, white, the lip spotted with brownish-pink at base, the disk yellow. Ovary and pedicel 13 mm long; bracts 25–30 mm long. Dorsal sepal 25–30 × 6–10 mm, lanceolate, obtuse, cucullate at apex; lateral sepals 28–30 × 6.5–8 mm, obliquely elliptic-lanceolate. Petals c. 27 × 7 mm, lanceolate, acute, keeled. Lip up to 28 × 16 mm, 3-lobed, with a blunt, sac-like spur c. 3 mm long; mid-lobe up to 10 mm long with 3 raised hairy keels running from near apex to base of lip; side lobes rounded. Column 10 mm long, slightly hairy. Capsule
hairy.
Habitat:

Seasonally wet, swampy grassland or dambos 1150–1500 m.
Distribution:

Uganda to WC. & S. Trop. Africa