AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Malaxis chevalieri Summerh., Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1934: 208 (1934).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Kornasia chevalieri (Summerh.) Szlach., Fragm. Florist. Geobot., Suppl. 3: 121 (1995).
Description:
Pseudobulbs 3-6 cm long, 0.2 cm in diameter, fusiform, slender, with 3-4 sheathing leaves in the lower part and 3-4 normal leaves at the apex. Leaves shortly petiolate to subsessile; petiole up to 2 cm long; blade 3.5-9.5 cm long, 1.1-5 cm wide, broadly lanceolate, ovate-lanceolate to elliptic-lanceolate, acute, thin-textured, delicate, plicate, spreading. Inflorescence up to 8 cm long, 10-30- flowered, dense, subcorymbose, with few sterile bracts. Flowers rather small, resupinate, greenish-crimson, pink-wine. Floral bracts up to 3.4 mm long, triangular-lanceolate, subulate, non-auriculated, thin, delicate, glabrous. Pedicel and ovary up to 6 mm long, slender, glabrous. Dorsal sepal 2.8 -4.3 mm long, 1.2-2.1 mm wide, ovate-lanceolate, acute to subacute, thin, delicate, glabrous, flat, 3-nerved. Petals 2.6-4 mm long, 1.1-1.9 mm wide, obliquely oblanceolate to oblong-oblanceolate, acute, thin, delicate, glabrous, 3-nerved. Lateral sepals 2.9 -4 mm long, 1.2-2.1 mm wide, oblong-lanceolate to oblongovate, acute, thin, delicate, glabrous, flat, 3-nerved. Lip 2.6-4 mm long, 2.4-4.5 mm wide, broadly obovate to nearly obcordate in general outline, rather thin, with single callus in the centre, basal margins thickened, no needle-like projection in the centre, apical margins irregularly denticulate. Gynostemium up to 1 mm long.
Habitat:
Terrestrial in gallery forests, savanna, flower in May.
Note:
An inconspicuous little plant chiefly interesting for the umbellate inflorescence which, among African members of the genus, is found only in M. Maclaudii (Finet) Summerhayes. Whereas in Finet's species the lip bears two parallel calli at the base with in front of them a subulate projecting central tooth, in Malaxis Chevalieri there is merely an entire cushion-like callus in the centre at the very base. The petals also have entire margins whereas in Malaxis Maclaudii they are shortly ciliate.
Distribution:
W. Trop. Africa to Central African Rep.
References:
ORCHIDACEAE OF IVORY COAST by Dariusz L. Szlachetko 2008
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Malaxis seychellarum (Kraenzl.) Summerh., Kew Bull. 8: 578 (1953 publ. 1954).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Liparis seychellarum Kraenzl., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 33: 60 (1902).
Microstylis seychellarum (Kraenzl.) Schltr., Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 33(2): 411 (1915).
Seidenfia seychellarum (Kraenzl.) Szlach., Fragm. Florist. Geobot., Suppl. 3: 122 (1995).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Microstylis thomassetii Rolfe, Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1922: 24 (1922).
Description:
Medium to large humicole plant, epiphyte or lithophyte 10 – 33 cm tall but generally between 15 and 25 cm, rhizome very short, repent, roots filiform, flexuose more or less pilose. Pseudobulbs stem-like, narrowly cylindrical-ovoid to subcylindrical, thickened-bulbous at the base, 5 – 8 cm long, 1 – 2 cm in diam., covered by 2 – 3 long and overlapping stem-sheaths, sometimes the older pseudobulb obliquely divergent and always leafless, with up to 2 – 5 leaves but generally 3 – 4, starting half-way up the stem and ending with 2 – 3 larger ones towards the apex. Leaves erectly spreading, obliquely elliptic to ovate-elliptic, apiculate to obtuse, base rounded-cuneate and then attenuate into a 1.5 – 3 cm petiole, overall 7 – 20 × 2.5 – 7 cm, plicate, margins a little undulate to crenulated, thin, purple becoming green or green. Inflorescence erect, up to 30 cm, 2 – 3 mm in diam., green to purple, densely racemose with up to 50 flowers. Peduncle costate, with 2 – 3 bract-like peduncle sheaths, up to 4 × 2 mm. Rachis around ¾ of the inflorescence. Floral bracts arched, descending, linear-lanceolate-acuminate, 3 – 8 × 1.5 – 2 mm, green to purple-brown. Flowers not resupinate, very small to small, opening in succession, overall c. 5 × 6 mm, variable in colour from pale greenish-yellow, lemon-yellow, purplish green to purple, fading to yellow-orange, there seem to be distinct colour forms in different locations. Pedicel and ovary linear, slightly arched, 3.2 – 5 × 0.3 – 0.8 mm, green, often tinted purple. Dorsal sepal lanceolate, obtuse, 2.3 – 3.9 × 0.4 × 1.1 mm. Lateral sepals linear-oblong, obtuse, subfalcate, 2.3 – 3.2 × 0.9 – 1.6 mm. Petals linear, obtuse, arched and crossing below the column, 2.9 – 3.8 × 0.3 – 0.6 mm. Lip transversally oblong to flabellate, shortly winged at the base, with a more or less distinct basal callus, distinctly irregularly dentate at the anterior margin, 1.8 – 2.1 × 2.5 – 3.3 mm. Column slightly incurved, wings small, distinctly rounded, apex triangular, 1.2 – 1.6 × 0.3 – 0.8 mm. Anther broadly ovoid, angular at the base, c. 0.3 × 0.4 mm. Seed capsule obovoid, shortly pedicellate, 8 – 10 mm long.
Etymology:
In reference to the Seychelles archipelago where the species is endemic.
Recognition:
This is a large plant, with non-resupinate flowers, arched descending floral bracts, subfalcate petals, an oblong to flabellate lip with a callus at the base and dentate margin, and an anther with rounded lobes at the apex.
Kraenzlin mentioned that in shape it was similar to Liparis flavescens but the obviously wider petals and the short wedge-shaped, very wide at the front, toothed lip were distinctive. It is indeed similar to several Liparis from Madagascar and the Mascarenes and vegetatively comparable with species like L. ochracea but the dense rachis of small non-resupinate flowers with a dentate lip margin make it very distinct. Rolfe, in describing Microstylis thomassetii, stated that it was related to the Asian Microstylis rheedii Lindl. (Lindley 1830a: 21) but differed by the narrower leaves and the shorter dentate lip. The latter shows, together with a number of other species from Asia, a number of similarities both in plant and flower but the flowers of Malaxis seychellarum are smaller and the teeth at the margin of the lip are generally fewer (6 – 8 vs 8 – 18) and not as deeply and acutely dentate. There is undoubtedly a genetic relationship between the species but the Seychelles taxon warrants specific recognition.
Habitat:
Montane forest, growing in moss on rocks, on trees and tree ferns, in damp humus in shady undergrowth. Altitude: 400 – 750 m.
Flowering time:
The species seems to flower all year round with the main season from November to May. Flowering and seed-bearing plants co-exist.
Distribution:
Endemic to the Seychelles
References:
Kew Bull. 8: 578 (1953 publ. 1954).; Malaxideae (Orchidaceae) in Madagascar, the Mascarenes, Seychelles and Comoro Islands Kew Bulletin volume 75, Article number: 1 (2020)
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Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ
Malaxis seychellarum 01  Malaxis seychellarum 03  Malaxis seychellarum with fruits   Malaxis seychellarum. Closer Malaxis seychellarum  Close up 
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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.
Photograph© Rogier
van Vugt. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Rogier
van Vugt. Image used
with kind permission.























Malaxis welwitschii (Rchb.f.) ined..
Homotypic Synonyms:
Liparis welwitschii Rchb.f., Flora 48: 184 (1865).
Leptorkis welwitschii (Rchb.f.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 671 (1891).
Lisowskia welwitschii (Rchb.f.) Marg., Richardiana 7: 50 (2007).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Liparis weberbaueriana Kraenzl., Orchis 2: 128 (1908).
Microstylis stolzii Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 53: 559 (1915).
Malaxis weberbaueriana (Kraenzl.) Summerh., Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1934: 208 (1934).
Microstylis atroruber H.Perrier, Notul. Syst. (Paris) 5: 233 (1936).
Microstylis francoisii H.Perrier, Notul. Syst. (Paris) 5: 234 (1936).
Malaxis stolzii (Schltr.) Summerh., Kew Bull. 2: 126 (1947 publ. 1948).
Malaxis atrorubra (H.Perrier) Summerh., Kew Bull. 8: 578 (1953 publ. 1954).
Malaxis francoisii (H.Perrier) Summerh., Kew Bull. 8: 578 (1953 publ. 1954).
Lisowskia weberbaueriana (Kraenzl.) Szlach., Fragm. Florist. Geobot., Suppl. 3: 121 (1995).
Description:
Plants 12 cm. tall; pseudobulbs, the most recent cauliform (5cm. x 2 mm.), covered with 2-3 sheaths 1 bearing 3-4 apical leaves; leaves oval-acute (2.5-3.5 x 1.4-1.6 cm.), attenuate-petiolate (petiole to 6-10 mm. long) and with 5 veins more projecting. Scape longer titan the leaves, to 6 cm. long, the peduncle longer than the rachis; rachis subdense, narrow (5 mm. wide generally) 15 flowered, flowers very small (3.5-4 mm. long with the pedicel) and greenish; bracts lanceolate-acute, equaling the pedicel or slightly longer. Median sepal oval-lanceolate (2.5 x 1 .2 mm.), obtuse and obscurely 3 veined; lateral sepals shorter (2 mm.). Petals linear (2.5 x 0.5 mm.). Labellum widely orbicular (2 mm. in diameter), auricles wide, obtuse and embracing the column, margins entire and the limbus thick and opaque; provided basally with 2 small punctiform calluses. Column very short, much thicker titan tall (0.4 mm.). Anther posterior, inserted below the apex of the column, small (a slight 0.4mm. wide), in a short, obtuse rostrum on the front edge. Rostelluns obviously sinuate medially, between the 2 points (auricles of the column) upright. Pedicel I.5 mm. long.
Habitat:
In evergreen, deciduous and gallery forests at elevations of 600 to 2100 meters as a warm to cold growing terrestrial.
Flowering:
February.
Distribution:
Cameroon to W. Ethiopia and S. Trop. Africa, C. Madagascar
References:
Flora of Madagascar Perrier 1939/81; The Orchids of South Central Africa Williamson 1977; Flora of Tropical East Africa Orchidaceae Part 2 Cribb 1984; Flora Zambesiaca Vol 11 Orchidaceae Part 1 Pope 1995; Orchids of Kenya Stewart & Campbell 1996; West Central African Republic Vol 2 Szatch. etal 2012
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Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ 
malaxis welwitschii 01 malaxis welwitschii 02  malaxis welwitschii 03  malaxis welwitschii 04  malaxis welwitschii 05  malaxis welwitschii 06 malaxis welwitschii 07 
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Vennetier Image used
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Photograph© Etienne
Vennetier Image used
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Photograph© Etienne
Vennetier Image used
with kind permission.
 
Photograph© Etienne
Vennetier Image used
with kind permission.
 
Photograph© Etienne
Vennetier Image used
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Photograph© Etienne
Vennetier Image used
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Photograph© Etienne
Vennetier Image used
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Malaxis melanotoessa Summerh., Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1934: 209 (1934).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Lisowskia melanotoessa (Summerh.) Szlach., Fragm. Florist. Geobot., Suppl. 3: 121 (1995).
Lisowskia welwitschii var. melanotoessa (Summerh.) Marg., Richardiana 7: 51 (2007).
Description:
Herba terrestris, caule primario repente. Caules secondarii erecti, graciles, 3-8 cm. alti, inferne cataphyllis vaginantibus obtecti, apice 4-5-foliati. Folia basi vaginantia, petiolo 4-12 mm. longo; lamina lanceolata, elliptico-lanceolata vel ovato-lanceolata, acuta, basi obliqua, uno latere rotundata, usque ad 5 cm. longa et 2-2 cm. lata, crenulata. Inflorescentia terminalis, erecta, gracilis, 3-6 cm. longa, laxiuscule 6-12-flora; bracteae basi late ovatae, cordatae, apice fere setaceo-acuminatae, usque ad 4 mm. longae. Flores patentes, ovario pedicellato bracteam superante. Sepala ovatolanceolata, subacuta, lateralia obliqua, 3 mm. longa, 1-6 mm. lata. Petala lanceolato-ligulata, obtusa, 2-8-3 mm. longa, 0-8 mm. lata. Labellum sessile, fere oblongum, basi auriculis rotundatis, apice rotundatum leviter emarginatum, in toto 3-5 mm. longum, 2-5 mm. latum, dimidio inferiore lineis duabus lateralibus latis papillatopuberulis instructum, ecallosum. Columna brevis, 0-8 mm. longa.
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Habitat:
Forest
Note:
Flowers pale greenish yellow. Lip dark purple at insertion and becoming creamish at length.
This rather small and not very striking species is allied to M. Weberbaueriana (Kraenzl.) Summerh., from which it differs in the characters given in the diagnosis. Both species possess two broad lines of short hairs, one on each side of the median vein, in the lower part of the lip. The name is given in allusion to the dark coloured auricles (ears) at the base of the tip.
Distribution:
Liberia
References:
Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1934: 209 (1934).
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Malaxis schliebenii (Mansf.) Summerh., Kew Bull. 6: 465 (1951 publ. 1952).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Microstylis schliebenii Mansf., Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 11: 808 (1933).
Kornasia schliebenii (Mansf.) Szlach., Fragm. Florist. Geobot., Suppl. 3: 121 (1995).
Description:
A small terrestrial plant up to 10 cm. tall; rhizome creeping, slender but swollen for 1-2 cm. below erect stem to form a white tuber up to 5 mm. in diameter. Secondary stems erect, very short, 0.5-2.2 cm. long, mostly 2-leaved. Leaves spreading, thin-textured, ovate, obtuse, up to 5 cm. long, 4-5 cm. broad. Inflorescence erect, 5-8-flowered, 4-8 cm. long; scape slender; bracts subulate, 4-5 mm. long. Flowers flat, translucent, pale yellow-green. Dorsal sepal lanceolate, rounded at apex, 4 mm. long, 1.6 mm. broad; lateral sepals falcate, elliptic, rounded at apex, 3.6 mm. long, 1.7 mm. broad. Petals falcate, lanceolate, rounded at apex, 3 mm. long, 1 mm. broad. Lip flabellate or rarely subquadrate, emarginate, 3 mm. long and broad, with fleshy basal margins and a denticulate-erose apical margin; callus of 2 fleshy lunate longitudinal ridges in centre of lip. Column fleshy, 1 mm. long, with a short fleshy ventral projection at base.
Habitat:
In deciduous woodland in sandy soils or in grassland among rocks; 900-1000 m.
Distribution:
Tanzania to Zambia
References:
Flora Tropical East Africa (part 2)
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