AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Liparis cespitosa (Lam.) Lindl., Bot. Reg. 11: t. 882 (1825).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Epidendrum cespitosum Lam., Encycl. 1: 187 (1783).
Malaxis cespitosa (Lam.) Thouars, Hist. Orchid.: t. 90 (1822).
Leptorkis cespitosa (Lam.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 671 (1891).
Cestichis cespitosa (Lam.) Ames, Orchidaceae 2: 132 (1908).
Description:
Plant epiphytic, 7-14 cm tall. Pseudobulbs 1.6-2.2 x 0.8-1.1 cm, ovoid, smooth. Leaf solitary, 7-12 x 1-1.4 cm, from apex of pseudobulb, stiff, oblanceolate. Inflorescence 8-10 cm long, densely 13 to 30 flowered. Flowers 1.6-2.1 mm long, non resupinate, greenish-yellow to creamy yellow. Sepals similar, ovate, acute, reflexed; dorsal sepal 2-2.7 x 0.6-0.9 mm. Lateral sepals 2.4-2.9 x 0.9-1 mm. Petals 2-3 x 0.8-1 mm, linear, obtuse. Lip 2.5-2.7 x 1.5-2 mm, oblong, concavity without any thickened processes.
Etymology:
The name of the genus comes from the Greek adjective “λιπαρός” (liparόs) = glossy, oily, with reference to the glossy leaves of many species; the specific name is the Latin adjective “caespitosus, a, um “ = cespitose, with obvious reference.
Habitat:
On trunks and lower branches of evergreen lowland forests and primary highland cloud forests at elevations of 400 to 1900 meters .
Flowering:
June – September
Culture information:
Vigourous species forming dense tufts, requires a shady position and tolerates an ample range of temperatures, from 5 °C to 36 °C, even if are to be preferred intermediate temperatures, high humidity, 65-80%, and constant ventilation.
Regular and abundant waterings during the growth, but allowing the substratum to slightly dry up before giving water again, more spaced in winter, but without ever letting it completely dry, utilizing rain water, demineralized or by reverse osmosis. It is usually mounted on trunks, pieces of bark or rafts of cork or of roots of arborescent ferns; eventual transplants are to be done at the vegetative restart.
Distribution:
Tanzania to Mozambique and S. Pacific
References:
Historie Particulier des Plantes Orchidees Recueilles Sur Trois Iles Australes d'Afrique Thouars 1822 as Malaxis caespitosa, Flora of Tropical East Africa Orchidaceae Part 2 Cribb 1984, Zambesiaca Vol 11 Part 1 Pope 1995, Field Guide to the Orchids of Madagascar Cribb & Herman 2009, Orchids of Madagascar Hermans 2007, Orchids of East Africa Piers 1968
Images:
Click on each image to see a larger version.

Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ 
liparis caespitosa  02  liparis caespitosa  03 
Photograph ©Frederic
Henze. Image used with
kind permission. 
Photograph ©Frederic
Henze. Image used with
kind permission.