AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Liparis jumelleana Schltr., Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 34(2): 320 (1916).
Description:
Small to large erect terrestrial plant, 8 – 24 cm high, rhizome very short or absent, roots wiry, somewhat woolly. Pseudobulbs 2, stem-like, elongate, fleshy, the old one leafless and at a wide angle to the flowering one or lying flat, enveloped by 2 – 3 brown sheaths, sometimes with a large leaf-like sheath, up to 12 cm long, c. 5 mm diam. Leaves 2 – 3, erectly spreading, thin, oval to obliquely elliptic, shortly acuminate, narrowed at the base into a short pleated-veined, petiole, 4 – 13 × 1.5 – 6.5 cm. Inflorescence slender, erect, laxly 4 – 9-flowered. Peduncle up to 9 cm, with a few sterile oval lanceolate bracts, av. 7 × 3 mm. Rachis c. 5 cm long. Floral bracts erectly spreading, lanceolate, around half the length of the ovary, 4.5 – 7 × 2 – 3 mm. Flowers medium size, pale greenish-yellow becoming brown with age, 12 – 15 × 9.0 – 12 mm. Pedicel and ovary rounded at the base becoming angular towards the pedicel, up to 15 × 1.3 mm. Dorsal sepal recurved, lanceolate, subacute, 7.1 – 11 × 1.5 – 2.1 mm. Lateral sepals porrect, semi-oblong, somewhat obtuse, 7.1 – 9 × 3.5 – 5.1 mm. Petals decurved, narrowly linear, subacute, 7.1 – 9.0 × 0.3 – 0.6 mm. Lip transversely elliptic, with proportionally small wings at the narrow base, the blade very rounded at the sides, the front margins almost straight ending in a small triangular cusp, with two small but distinct thickened calli at the base thinning out into three strong central veins, 5.1 – 6.3 × 6.9 – 10.1 mm. Column almost straight, somewhat broadened towards the base, with two small wings at the apex, 3.0 – 3.3 × 1.1 – 1.3 mm. Anther rounded with a distinct acute beak, c. 1.0 × 1.2 mm. Pollinia pear-shaped, c. 0.5 × 0.4 mm.
Etymology:
Named for Henri Jumelle (1866 – 1935), professor of botany and director of the Botanic Garden in Marseille (France). He did not work in Madagascar but collaborated extensively with Perrier.
Recognition:
Usually a squat plant with 2 – 3 thin leaves on the flowering growth, the previous growth being leafless and lying at an angle or flat on the ground. It has short, stem-like pseudobulbs, medium-sized flowers with a typically broad lip with a short triangular apex, small wings at the base and two small but distinct nipple-like calli at the base thinning out into the three central veins, and an anther with a sharp beak.
The only other species with a very broad lip is Liparis laurentii but L. laurentii has a single perennial leaf on a slender pseudobulb (vs 2 to 3 deciduous leaves of a different shape and size), the lip calli are shorter and blunter in L. jumelleana. In habit it somewhat resembles L. imerinensis but the lip shape and callus are very different with the lip transversally elliptic vs oval and the callus small and rounded vs two-horned.
Habitat:
Epiphyte, terrestrial or lithophyte in humid evergreen forest at mid-altitude. On gneiss rock. Altitude: 300 – 2200 m.
Phenology:
Flowering in October to May.
Notes:
Plant size is quite variable as is obvious from the type specimens but lip size and shape seem to be consistent throughout its range.
Cultivation:
As given for the genus.
Distribution:
Endemic to 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; Malaxideae (Orchidaceae) in Madagascar, the Mascarenes, Seychelles and Comoro Islands Kew Bulletin volume 75, Article number: 1 (2020)
Images:
Click on each image to see a larger version.