AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Liparis nervosa (Thunb.) Lindl., Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl.: 26 (1830).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Ophrys nervosa Thunb. in J.A.Murray, Syst. Veg. ed. 14: 814 (1784).
Epidendrum nervosum (Thunb.) Thunb., Trans. Linn. Soc. London 2: 327 (1794).
Cymbidium nervosum (Thunb.) Sw., Nova Acta Regiae Soc. Sci. Upsal. 6: 76 (1799).
Malaxis nervosa (Thunb.) Sw., Kongl. Vetensk. Acad. Nya Handl. 21: 235 (1800).
Iebine nervosa (Thunb.) Raf., Fl. Tellur. 4: 39 (1838).
Sturmia nervosa (Thunb.) Rchb.f., Bonplandia (Hannover) 3: 250 (1855).
Leptorkis nervosa (Thunb.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 671 (1891).
Diteilis nervosa (Thunb.) M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones, Orchadian 15: 40 (2005).
Description:
A large, up to 20 in. (50 cm) sympodial humus epiphyte.
Pseudobulb:
2.0-2.8 in. (5-7 cm) long by 0.8-1.2 in. (2-3 cm) wide. The conical to egg-shaped pseudobulbs are slightly compressed, clustered, only partly above ground, and enclosed by the distichous, overlapping, papery basal sheaths of the leaves. Leaves are eventually deciduous, leaving the old bulbs ringed by remnants of the leaf sheaths.
Leaves:
Up to 14 in. (35 cm) long by 3.5 in. (9 cm) wide. Each growth carries 3-5 egg-shaped to elliptic or oblong-lanceolate leaves. They may be rounded or rather sharply pointed at the apex, are pleated with longitudinal fanlike folds, and are narrowed below . The base of the leaf is folded longitudinally along the midvein for a short distance to form a short, narrow, petiolelike stem at the base.
Inflorescence:
Up to 24 in. (60 cm) long. The erect flower spike, which is green suffused with purple, emerges from the apex of a recently matured pseudobulb. Flowers are carried on the upper part of the spike in a rather widely spaced or densely crowded raceme. Each blossom has a purple, more or less erect pedicellate ovary that is about 0.4 in. (1 cm) long.
Flowers:
Up to 30 per inflorescence. The rather small flowers, which are up to 0.5 in. (1.2 cm) long, have spreading, greenish sepals and petals that may be streaked with purple. The lip is deep maroon-purple or greenish purple, and the column is bright green with a bright green anther at the tip. The linear-oblong dorsal sepal is 0.2-0.3 in. (0.5-0.7 cm) long by 0.04-0.1 in. (0.1-0.25 cm) wide. It may be erect or reflexed and may have margins that are rolled toward the back. The somewhat obliquely spreading, linear-egg-shaped lateral sepals are 0.2 in. (0.4-0.6 cm) long by 0.08-0.1 in. (0.2-0.35 cm) wide and are often rolled up under the lip. Petals are 0.2-0.3 in. (0.5-0.7 cm) long and up to 0.04 in. (0.1 cm) wide. They are narrowly spoon-shaped to linear, often almost threadlike. The recurved, almost round lip is 0.1-0.2 in. (0.3-0.6 cm) long by 0.1-0.2 in. (0.25-0.45 cm) wide. It is somewhat bilobed with has a pair of toothlike projections at the base. The column is 0.1-0.2 in. (0.3-0.5 cm) long, curved, and winged near the apex.
Habitat:
In Africa distribution is extremely widespread with plants reported from Angola, Benin, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, and possibly South Africa. Plants usually are found in woodlands, but they sometimes occur in open, wet grasslands. They may grow in shade or in full sun at 1650-6000 ft. (500-1830 m).
Note:
In the Florida habitat, plants bloom from summer into early autumn, but in more tropical regions blooming may occur any time of year.
Cultivation:
Read more of cultivation of Liparis nervosa (Thunb.) Lindl.
Distribution:
Trop. & Subtrop.
References:
Ackerman, J. 1995. An orchid flora of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The New York Botanical Garden. Ames, O. and D. Correll. [1952-1953, and 1965] 1985. Orchids of Guatemala and Belize. Dover Publications, New York. Originally in Fieldiana 26(1 and 2) and 31(7). Dodson, C., and P. de Dodson. 1980. Orchids of Ecuador, fasc. 4, plates 300–400. Icones Plantarum Tropicarum. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota, Fla. Dressler, R. 1993. Field Guide to the orchids of Costa Rica and Panama. Cornell University Press. New York. Gale, see: Acuña Galé, J. [1938, printed 1939] 1987. Catalogo Descriptivo de las Orquideas Cubanas, Bolletín, No. 60. Estación Experimental Agronomica, Santiago de las Vegas. Havana, Cuba. Reprinted by Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh, Dehra Dun, India. Gloudon, A. and C. Tobisch. 1995. Orchids of Jamaica. The Press, University of the West Indies, 1A Aqueduct Flats, Mona Campus, Kingston, Jamaica, W1. Hamer, F. 1983. Orchids of Nicaragua, part 3. Icones Plantarum Tropicarum fasc. 9, plates 801-900. The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 33577. Hamilton, R. 1988. When does it flower? 2nd ed. Robert M. Hamilton, 9211 Beckwith Road, Richmond, B. C., Canada V6X 1V7. Hawkes, A. (1965) 1987. Encyclopaedia of cultivated orchids. Faber and Faber, London. la Croix, I. and E. la Croix. 1997. African orchids in the wild and in cultivation. Timber Press, Portland, OR. Luer, C. 1972. The native orchids of Florida. New York Botanical Garden, N. Y. Mayda, M. and J. Ackerman. 1992. The orchids of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. University of Puerto Rico Press, P. O. Box 23322, UPR Station, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00931-3322. Seidenfaden, G. 1976. Orchid genera in Thailand—4. Liparis L. C. Rich. Dansk Botanisk Arkiv Bind 31—Nr. 1. Tropicos W3, Missouri Botanical Garden, Nomenclatural Data Base, March 8, 1998 at http: //mobot.mobot.org/cgi-bin/search_pick. Williams, L., and P. Allen. [[1946-1949]] 1980. Orchids of Panama. Monographs in systematic botany, vol. 4. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Mo. The 1980 reprint includes a current checklist by R. Dressler.
Photos/drawings:
Ackerman, J. 1995. An orchid flora of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The New York Botanical Garden. (Drawing) Ames, O. and D. Correll. [1952-1953, and 1965] 1985. Orchids of Guatemala and Belize. Dover Publications, New York. Originally in Fieldiana 26(1 and 2) and 31(7). (Drawing) Dodson, C., and P. de Dodson. 1980. Orchids of Ecuador, fasc. 4, plates 300–400. Icones Plantarum Tropicarum. Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota, Fla. (Drawing) Dressler, R. 1993. Field Guide to the orchids of Costa Rica and Panama. Cornell University Press. New York. (Color photo) Gloudon, A. and C. Tobisch. 1995. Orchids of Jamaica. The Press, University of the West Indies, 1A Aqueduct Flats, Mona Campus, Kingston, Jamaica, W1. (Color photo) Hamer, F. 1983. Orchids of Nicaragua, part 3. Icones Plantarum Tropicarum fasc. 9, plates 801-900. The Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, 811 South Palm Avenue, Sarasota, FL 33577. (Drawing) Hawkes, A. (1965) 1987. Encyclopaedia of cultivated orchids. Faber and Faber, London. (Black & white photo) Luer, C. 1972. The native orchids of Florida. New York Botanical Garden, N. Y. (Color photos) Mayda, M. and J. Ackerman. 1992. The orchids of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. University of Puerto Rico Press, P. O. Box 23322, UPR Station, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00931-3322. (Painting) Williams, L., and P. Allen. [[1946-1949]] 1980. Orchids of Panama. Monographs in systematic botany, vol. 4. Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Mo. The 1980 reprint includes a current checklist by R. Dressler. (Drawing)
Images:
Click on each image to see a larger version.

Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ
Liparis nervosa (Thunb.) Lindl. 01
 
Liparis nervosa (Thunb.) Lindl. 02
 
Liparis nervosa (Thunb.) Lindl. 03
Photograph© Biodiversity
and Landscape Unit.
Image used with kind
permission.
Photograph© Biodiversity
and Landscape Unit.
Image used with kind
permission.
Photograph© Biodiversity
and Landscape Unit.
Image used with kind
permission.