AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Gastrorchis humblotii var. schlechteri (H.Perrier) Senghas ex Bosser & P.J.Cribb in D.J.Du Puy & al., Orchids Madagascar: 145 (1999).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Gastrorchis schlechteri H.Perrier, Bull. Trimestriel Acad. Malgache, n.s., 12: 33 (1930).
Phaius schlechteri (H.Perrier) Summerh., Kew Bull. 17: 560 (1964).
Phaius humblotii var. schlechteri (H.Perrier) Bosser, Adansonia, n.s., 11: 526 (1971).
Description:
Plants 60-80 cm tall pseudobulbs very numerous, more or less hypogenous. the older ones bearing their more or less persistant leaves, the most recent with 2-3 large leaves, with a single basal inflorescence and 1-2 lateral buds which develop into new bulbs in time. Leaves attenuate in a long (5-14 cm) petiole, widely oval-lanceolate (30-40 x 11-16 cm) and acute at both ends. Scape with its peduncle 25-40 cm long, bearing 3-4 elongated and persistant sheaths basally, and 2-3 sterile bracts above the center, of pure white and very caduceus. Rachis very loose, 18-20 flowered; bracts white and very caduceos, widely oval and apiculate, the inferiors generally longer than the flowers. Sepals and petals apiculate, pure white and 7 veined, the petals not as large as the sepals, but more widely oval (3 x 2.5 cm generally). Labellum flattened, less distinctly trilobed, much wider in the center of the median lobe lateral lobes of a clear red, sprinkled with darker spots, chiffon-fringed with the margins marginate and curved in a semi-circle around the column, which is elongated by 2 wide rounded auricles; median lobe very transverse (11 x 35mm.), much larger, pleated-undulate marginally, apiculate medially, apically, of a clear red and turning dark red with age, white basally. edged with yellow; V shaped callus of a pretty yellow, very projecting, with its branches obtuse and free posteriorly, elongated in front by a ked then a verrucose crest which forms a free acute point at (is front end: with a large number of hairs basally. Column (15 mm) shin very arched. Anther sub hemispherical, joined by a wide filiment, very rounded in front, papillous, notched on each edge from the center with a tuft of hairs in the 2 notches. Rostellum wider than tall. Pedicel generally 3 cm long.
Habitat:
In mossy forest, between 1200 and 2000 m alt.; flowering in January-March.
Distribution:
N. Madagascar
References:
An Introduction to the Cultivated Angraecoid Orchids Of Madagascar Hillerman & Holst 1986; Field Guide to the Orchids of Madagascar Cribb & Herman 2009
Images:
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In culture
gastrorchis humblotii var. schlechteri 01
Photograph© Lourens
Grobler. Image used
with kind permission.