AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

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)
Images:
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