AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

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