AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Gastrorchis humblotii (Rchb.f.) Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 33: 169 (1924).
Synonyms:
Phaius humblotii Rchb.f., Gard. Chron., n.s., 14: 812 (1880).
Description:
Plants 45-80 cm tall, pseudobulbs with 2-4 petiolate leaves (petiole 13-20 mm) elliptical-lanceolate or oval lanceolate (25-40 x 6-10 cm), plicate-veined, acute and attenuate toward both ends. Scape 60- 90 cm tall; cluster loosely 12-15 flowered: bracts herbaceous, green, narrow, lanceolate, obtuse and with the veins less numerous, generally slightly longer than the pedicel. Sepals red, oval (3-3.2 cm x 2 cm), shortly, apiculate. Petals similar, but smaller (2.5-2.8 x 1.5-1.8 cm). Labellum (3 x 3 cm) lateral lobes thick and clear red; median deeper, slightly longer than wide, larger than the 2 laterals together: with a large number of hairs at the base of the labellum: V shaped callus 8 mm tall elongated in front by a single flat keel. Column curved, 2.2cm long. Rostellum longer than wide on top. Anther bearing several hairs, basally, elongated in front by an attenuate then truncate rostrum. Pedicel 3-3.2 cm long.
Habitat:
This species grows terrestrially in very dense shade in the wet semi deciduous tropical forest. it grows at elevations of up to 5,000 plus feet and endures temperatures in the 40's during the dry season. The Mandraka is mentioned as a specific locality.
Cultivation:
Read more of cultivation of Gastrorchis humblotii (Rchb.f.) Schltr.
Notes:
Most hobbyists think of Phaius as a large "tropical foliage" plant. However, the Madagascan Phaius, or Gastrorchis, are very moderate in size. The flowers are showy and colorful, and continue to open for a period of 4 weeks or more. This species deserves a much larger place in modern collections.
Distribution:
Madagascar.
References:
Flora of Madagascar: vascular plants: 49th family, Orchids / by H. Perrier de La Bathie; published under the auspices of the government of Madagascar and under the direction of H. Humbert; English revision and translation by Steven D. Beckman; Field Guide to the Orchids of Madagascar Cribb & Herman 2009; Orchids of Madagascar Hermans, Du Puy, Cribb & Bosser 2007; An Introduction to the Angraecoid Orchids of Madagascar Hillerman & Holst 1986
Images:
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In culture In culture In culture In culture
Gastrorchis humblotii 01 Gastrorchis humblotii 02 Gastrorchis humblotii 03 Gastrorchis humblotii 04
Photograph© Lourens
Grobler. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Lourens
Grobler. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Lourens
Grobler. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Lourens
Grobler. Image used
with kind permission.