AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Liparis stolzii Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 53: 562 (1915).
Description:
Small epiphytic herb, up to 20 cm. high, swollen at the base to form a small subglobose bifoliate pseudobulb. Pseudobulb up to 7 mm. high and 6 mm. in diameter. Leaves submembranous, bright green, erect, ovate to oblong-ligulate, 5—6(—8) cm. long, 6-10 mm. wide, acute at the apex, narrowed to a sheathing base, but not articulated, margins entire. Scape laxly 2-8-flowered, bright green, suberect, up to 20 cm. high, 1 mm. in diameter, often with a large sterile bract 2 cm. long and 5 mm. wide ± 3 cm. below the lowest flower; fertile bracts 4 mm. long, 2 mm. wide at the base, abruptly narrowed to an acuminate apex. Pedicellate ovaries ± 7 mm. long. Flowers green. Dorsal sepal oblong, acute at the apex and biauriculate at the base, 5-6 mm. long, 1.5 mm. wide; lateral sepals united at the very base, subfalcate, rounded to acute at the apex, 3.7 mm. long, 1.7 mm. wide. Petals linear, apparently downwardly directed, 5.6-6.2 mm. long, 0.7 mm. wide, rounded at the apex, united to the lateral sepals at the base, margins revolute. Lip orbicular with a small ± bilobed callus at the base, margins very slightly crisped. Column 3.3 mm. long, slender, geniculate. Capsule fusiform.
Habitat:
Forest epiphyte or among tufts of grass in swamps; 1200-1800 m.
Distribution:
Tanzania
References:
Flora of Tropical East Africa Orchidaceae (Part 2)
Images:
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Liparis caulescens Frapp. ex Cordem., Fl. Réunion: 186 (1895).
Description:
Medium to large erect terrestrial or lithophytic plant, 14 – 33 cm high, rhizome short, ascending, roots wiry, more or less pilose, c. 1 mm diam. Pseudobulbs slender, stem-like, a little inflated at the base, up to 25 cm × 6 – 15 mm, partly covered by 4 – 5 thin amplexicaul sheaths, partly overlapping, up to 5 cm long, with 2 – 3 (rarely 4) apical sub-petiolate leaves. Leaves spreading, asymmetric, lanceolate to elliptical-lanceolate, acuminate, undulate, the veins obliquely convergent, more or less glossy, contracted into a 10 – 25 mm petiole at the base, overall 8 – 10 × 4 – 5.5 cm, the third leaf usually smaller, dark green. Inflorescence erect, a little longer than the leaves, carrying up to 15 flowers but usually fewer, up to 11 cm. Peduncle with a few linear-lanceolate peduncle sheaths becoming sterile bracts, 7 – 10 mm long. Rachis loosely racemose in the upper half of the inflorescence, up to 7 cm long. Floral bracts spreading, linear-lanceolate, acuminate, the lower ones considerably longer than apical ones, up to 13 × 3 mm, green. Flowers medium in size, up to 15 × 10 mm, ovary green, sepals and petals yellowish-brown, lip dark brown to ochre, darker towards the middle becoming a dark orange-red on the disk and base of column, column white becoming brown towards the base; the whole flower turning more orange with age. Pedicel and ovary glabrous, costate, 12 – 14 × 0.8 – 1.1 mm. Dorsal sepal reclining, ligulate-lanceolate, 8 – 12.5 × 1.5 – 2.1 mm. Lateral sepals curved beneath the lip, ovate to lanceolate, 7.5 – 9.9 × 3.6 – 4.5 mm. Petals margins incurved, spreading and curved upwards, obliquely linear 9 – 10.5 × 1.2 – 1.6 mm. Lip strongly curved towards the base, broadly obovate, with very small auricles at the base, rounded to emarginate at the anterior margin, the margins undulate, with a distinct two-horned callus at the base, 7.1 – 8.9 × 6.3 – 8.6 mm. Column relatively short, 3 – 4.5 × 1 – 1.5 mm, curved at the apex, with small triangular wings towards the apex. Anther oblate, rounded at the front, c. 0.8 × 0.6 mm. Pollinia in 2 pairs, ovoid, c. 0.5 × 0.3 mm.
Etymology:
Refers to the stem-like pseudobulbs.
Habitat:
Terrestrial or lithophyte in forest, common on rocky cliffs of shady ravines. Usually in dark and wet places in the rainforest at medium elevation. Altitude: 800 – 1500 m.
Flowering time:
February to May.
Recognition:
A medium-sized to large plant with a long slender pseudobulb, two to three sub-petiolate asymmetric leaves, a loosely racemose rachis and medium-sized flowers, with a brown, broadly ovate lip with a two-horned callus at base and a rounded anther.
The species shares a similar habit, including the somewhat asymmetric leaves, its brownish-yellow flower colour and lip shape with Liparis rivalis from Madagascar but plants of L. caulescens are a little shorter, the spike habit is laxly racemose (vs densely racemose), fewer and with larger flowers, the lip with a more distinct callus, a larger, differently shaped column with angular vs rounded wings (Table 6). They may well have evolved from a common ancestor. It is somewhat similar in habit to Liparis gracilipes and L. danguyana from Madagascar but the leaves are considerably longer and asymmetric lanceolate vs elliptic-oval, while its flowers are at least 1/3 larger and the lip broadly obovate vs suborbicular.
Notes:
The history of the species is complex, it appears to have been known by various botanists working at the end of the 19th century and consequently several different names have been found in herbaria. The earliest herbarium sheets referring to this species are from Achille Richard’s herbarium: two sheets in Paris (Richard 402) labelled as ‘Malaxis flavescens’, dated 1837 from Bourbon [Réunion] and one sheet in the Kew Lindley herbarium labelled as ‘L. vaginata A.R. m. sp. Sp. nova. Ile Bourbon Richard’. Most of the early collections (e.g. Lavallée 269, Armange s.n. in P) were misidentified as M. flavescens, now Liparis flavescens, which was described and illustrated by Du Petit-Thouars (Thouars 1822: t.25) and was one of the few Liparis then known and similar, at first sight, to L. caulescens. Further Richard herbarium material found its way to the Reichenbach herbarium in W (643) where it is annotated ‘Liparis vaginata nob. sp. nov.’. From the above it seems that Richard intended to describe the species as Liparis vaginata but never did so. The Richard specimen at K-Lindl. was traced on paper by Reichenbach f. (now in W) and the tracing is annotated ‘Liparis vaginata A. Rich. sp. nov’ but additionally as ‘Lip. caulescens Boiv. Isle Bourbon’ and also labelled as ‘L. longa Rchb.f cf. Linnaea”. Liparis longa was described by Reichenbach in Linnaea (1877: 98) at the end of a lengthy series of novelties, most with a reference to type material except for L. longa which was the last in the series. The description is fairly detailed and mentioned a plant with a long stem, sub-opposite leaves and a lip with two teeth at the base of the lip. It is likely that Reichenbach was referring to the Richard material and decided to apply his own epithet and not the one suggested by Richard. Liparis longa is an earlier name for the species but under the rules of nomenclature (ICN article 7.9) Reichenbach’s name cannot be accepted as it lacks any type material. In 1887, Ridley included L. longa in his monograph but added no further information.
Distribution:
Réunion
References:
Flore de l'ile de la Reunion1895; Malaxideae (Orchidaceae) in Madagascar, the Mascarenes, Seychelles and Comoro Islands Kew Bulletin volume 75, Article number: 1 (2020)
Images:
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Liparis harketii Killmann & Eb.Fisch., Orchidee (Hamburg) 58: 738 (2007 publ. 2008).
Description:
Small epiphytic herb with shoots up to 5-8 cm high arising at intervals of 2-5 cm from a slender terete creeping rhizome. Roots slender, arising at base of shoots and at intervals along rhizome. Pseudobulbs fleshy, up to 18 mm high, 2-3 mm in diameter at base, with 2-3 sheathing leaves and usually 4-5 larger leaves. Leaves light green, at base with a narrow and distinct pseudopetiole, 10-15 mm long and 2 mm wide, lamina lanceolate-ovate, with distinctly undulated margin, longly acuminate at apex, 28-30 mm long and 10 mm wide at base, tapering to 6 mm towards apex. Inflorescence with 3-8 flowers, 35-40 mm long, longer or shorter than the leaves, bracts triangular, 3-4 x 1.5 mm. Ovary and pedicel up to 5 mm long. Flowers dark reddish purple. Dorsal sepal up to 5.5 mm long and 1.3 mm wide at the aurlcled base, tapering to an obtuse apex; lateral sepals united almost to apex, 4-4.5 x 2 mm, rounded, curved down beneath lip. Petals linear, up to 4 mm long and 0.5-0.8 mm wide, rounded at apex. Lip with a bilobed callus, distinctly bllobed and flabellate, up to 2-2.2 mm long and 5 mm wide, lobes 3 mm long and 1.8 mm wide, margin coarsely dentate. Column slender, terete, winged at the apex, up to 3-4 mm long.
Etymology:
This species is dedicated to Morten HARKET, Oslo, for his support of nature protection and his orchid enthusiasm.
Habitat:
Liparis harketii is found as an epiphyte growing in moss cushions under very humid conditions. At the type locality in Rwanda, the plant is found in large stands from 1-5 m above soil on trees in a steep valley close to Kamiranzovu River and its rapids. Thus a special humid climate is maintained over most of the year. Due to its small size the species can be confused with ferns when sterile. However, at the end of the dry season (September and October), the leaves are caducous and only the shrinkled pseudobulbs persist. At this state the species may easily be overlooked.
Notes:
Liparis harketii is generally much smaller than Li-paris deistelii, the leaves are distinctly undulate and bear a long and narrow pseudopetiole. The lip is more elongate and only 1,8 mm high, and the lobes bear coarse teeth at the margin. Despite the distinctive characters, a specimen in Meise (BR, Congo, Rwenzori, Lanuri, 1700-1800 m, sur tronc pourri ombragé, 1.VI.1914, BEQUAERT 4629) has been identified by SUMMER-HAYES (1951) as Liparis odontochilos Summerh., which is nowadays considered as a synonym of Liparis deistelii. It was also cited under Liparis deistelii by GEERINCK (1984). However, the specimen shows all the characters mentioned above and represents a typical Liparis harketii.
Distribution:
Rwanda(Liparis harketii is an Albertine Rift Endemic, so far only known from the foot of the Rwenzori Mountains in Eastern Congo and from Nyungwe National Park, both at about 1800 m.)
References:
Liparis harketii, a new epiphytic species from Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda,Die Orchidee 58(6):739,2007, PRIDGEON, A. M„ CRIBB, P. J„ CHASE, M. W. & F. N. RASMUSSEN, (2005): Genera Orchida-cearum, Vol. 4 Epidendroideae (Part One) :1-672.,SUMMERHAYES, V. (1951): New orchids from Africa; Botanical Museum Leaflets, Harvard University 14:215-239
















Liparis goodyeroides Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 38: 152 (1906).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Liparis joannis-kornasii Szlach., Fragm. Florist. Geobot., Suppl. 2(1): 211 (1993).
Description:
Lithophyte without pseudobulbs and a creeping, elongating, leafy in the apical part stems carrying 5 to 13, spirally arranged along the stem, broadly to ovate-lanceolate, acute, thin, delicate, spreading, petiolate base leaves that blooms mostly in the spring on an erect, terminal, 3 to 4.5 cm long, rachis narrowly winged, rather dense, subcorymbose, 10 to 15 flowered inflorescence carrying small, green pink to green purple flowers often with a purple lip.
Habitat:
Islands in forests, gallery swamp forests and hillsides with rocky soils at elevations around 500 to 1000 meters.
Distribution:
Guinea to Liberia, São Tomé, Príncipe, SW. Cameroon
References:
Orchidaceae of Central West Africa Vol 2 Szlatchenko 2010

Liparis hemipilioides Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 26: 341 (1899).
Description:
Terrestrial herb 15–20 cm tall; tubers 1.5–2 cm long, ovoid. Leaf 1, basal, ovate, cordate, glabrous, dark-green. Scape slender, 3–5-flowered, with many small lanceolate sheaths. Sepals and petals olive-green, lip violet. Dorsal sepal 7 mm long, linear, obtuse, margins revolute; lateral sepals 6 × 5 mm, broadly oblong, connate. Petals 7 mm long, erect to spreading. Lip almost panduriform, narrowing above a broad auriculate base with thickened margins, then expanding into a ±quadrangular-oblong very obtuse lobe, ± emarginate at the apex; lobe 5 × 3 mm, with a small, medial, low, 2-lobed rugulose callus. Column slender, 4 mm long, somewhat incurved towards the apex.
Habitat;
No data.
Notes:
This species appears to be very close to Liparis mulindana Schltr. If these taxa prove to be synonymous then Liparis hemipilioides Schltr. is the earlier name.
Distribution:
Mozambique
References:
La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1995). Orchidaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 11(1) Page 282.