AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Liparis ambohimangana Hermans, Orchids Madagascar, ed. 2: 214 (2007).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Liparis monophylla H.Perrier, Notul. Syst. (Paris) 5: 248 (1936), nom. illeg.
Description:
Dwarf epiphytic or terrestrial plant, 1.5 – 5 cm tall at most, with long, slender, pale stolons 0.8 – 1.4 mm diam., up to 9 cm long but often shorter, carrying intermittent scale-like bracteoles, the new pseudobulbs emerging from the extremities. Pseudobulbs conical or globular, single-leaved, 3 – 12 × 2.8 – 7 mm, more or less covered with thin white sheaths. Leaf emerging from the apex of the pseudobulb, lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate, acute, 1.5 – 4.8 × 0.5 – 1.4 cm, with a distinct central vein, petiole narrow, c. 10 mm long. Inflorescence a little longer than the leaf, up to 7 cm long, c. 1 mm diam., carrying an occasional sterile scale, with 1 – 8 flowers towards the apex but generally fewer. Peduncle wiry, ¾ of the inflorescence. Rachis densely racemose. Floral bracts1/3 the length of the ovary, ovate, acute, 1.4 – 2.3 × 0.7 – 1.2 mm. Flowers small, c. 8 × 6 mm pale yellowish-green to pale yellow, the column and lip a little darker, the disk and callus more yellow, anther greenish-white. Pedicel and ovary fusiform, 4.5 – 6.9 × 0.3 – 1.5 mm. Dorsal sepal lanceolate to ligulate, 4 – 6.9 × 1 – 1.8 mm. Lateral sepals oblong-falcate, 3.2 – 5.1 × 1.5 – 2.4 mm. Petals linear, 4.1 – 6 × 0.2 – 0.3 mm. Lip broadly oval to suborbicular, 2.3 – 3.7 × 2.2 – 3.2 mm, broadly winged at the base, more or less sinuate at the margins, with a large (1.7 – 2.1 mm) conical callus at the base, callus convex at the anterior margin. Column arched, with characteristic auriculate wings just below the apex, 3.2 – 4 × 0.2 – 1.2 mm. Anther very small, 0.4 – 0.6 × 0.3 – 0.6 mm, truncate at the anterior margin. Pollinia two pairs, 0.2 – 0.4 × 0.15 – 0.3 mm. Seed capsule oblong or oblanceolate, 7 – 10 × 3.5 – 4 mm.
Etymology:
The species name refers to the Ambohimanga area in the Madagascan Highlands and the origin of Raymond Decary’s 1928 collection that was once associated with the type material. Perrier’s name Liparis monophylla refers to the single leaf of the plant.
Habitat:
Mainly epiphytic on branches and at the base of trees, in moss. On tree ferns (Cyathea), on Harungana madagascariensis Lam. ex Poir. (Lamarck 1804: 314). Terrestrial in humus or moss, moss-covered rocks and on the forest floor. Altitude: 1000 – 1200 m.
Flowering time:
April to August.
Notes:
This species was described by Perrier in 1936 but the name had already been used in 1920 by Ames for a plant from the Philippines, it was re-named in 2007 (Hermans et al.2007: 214).
Recognition:
A very small plant with prominent stolons, a single lanceolate leaf, a peduncle about ¾ of the few-flowered inflorescence and small flowers with a wide lip with a large conical callus at base, appearing as a single swelling in herbarium material, a column with distinct auriculate wings at the apex, and an anther lacking a distinct beak.
Cultivation:
As given for the genus.
Distribution:
C. 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:
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Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ 
liparis ambohimangana in situ  liparis ambohimangana. close up. side  liparis ambohimangana. close up 
Photograph© Rogier
van Vugt. Image used
with kind permission. 
Photograph© Rogier
van Vugt. Image used
with kind permission. 
Photograph© Rogier
van Vugt. Image used
with kind permission.