AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Key to the subspecies of Bulbophyllum sandersonii (Hook.f.) Rchb.f.

1 Floral bracts distinctly narrower than the fully developed part of the rhachis; flowers usually
placed along an excentric line on the rhachis; lip adaxially with at most weak, obtuse keels
in the top half (flowers usually with large, purple blotches or entirely purple; occurring
throughout Tropical Africa up to CAM., not further westwards) 
ssp. sandersonii 
1a Floral bracts as wide as the fully developed part of the rhachis or wider; flowers usually placed
along the median line of the rhachis; lip adaxially with two high and sharp keels over the entire
length of the lip, very close to the margins (flowers with white, green or orange sepals, not or
hardly marked with purple; occurring in ZAI. and westwards 
ssp. stenopetalum

References:
Vermeulen, J.J. (1987). A Taxonomic Revision of the Continental African Bulbophyllinae Orchid Monographs Volume 2 E.J. Brill, Leiden-New York-Kopnhavn-Koln ; WCSP (2018). 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://wcsp.science.kew.org Retrieved 18/10/2019

Bulbophyllum elliotii Rolfe, J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 29: 51 (1891).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Bulbophyllum malawiense B.Morris, Proc. Linn. Soc. London 179: 63 (1968).
Description:
Roots 0.4-1.2 mm diam. Rhizome 1.5-3 mm diam., nodes not or hardly swollen. Rhizome scales tubular, tip obtuse, mucronate; membranous, the upper with some nerves; not keeled abaxially. Pseudobulbs 2-leafed, orbicular to ovoid or ellipsoid, 0.3-2 cm apart, 0.5-2.2 by 0.4-2.2 cm, not or hardly flattened, very obtusely 4-angled. Petiole 0.05-2 mm long. Leaf blade about orbicular to narrowly oblong, rarely broadly lanceolate, 1-4.4 by 0.6-1.7 cm, tip rounded to obtuse, emarginate, either oblique or not; coriaceous, thick to very thick; midrib hardly prominent abaxially. Inflorescence 4-15.5 cm long, 8-47-flowered. Peduncle patent to pendulous, sturdy, swollen towards the tip and below the nodes, 2-7.5 cm by 1.2-3 mm, orbicular in section, usually slightly granulate towards the tip, with 5-9 scales. Peduncle scales tubular, the longest 5-9 mm long; tip acute to acuminate; membranous, either with some nerves or not; keeled and glabrous abaxially. Rhachis patent to about pendulous, swollen, spindle-shaped, 2.2-7.5 cm by up to 4 mm, finely papillose, either with fine dark hairs or not. Floral bracts recurved, broadly ovate, 4-6 by 3-4 mm, tip acute; base broadly attached; membranous, without nerves; slightly keeled and either about glabrous or with some fine dark hairs abaxially. Flowers placed in a reticulate pattern or in 3-5 rows, in a rather dense raceme, about appressed against the rhachis or slightly recurved, many open simultaneously, not much open. Pedicel and ovary 1.3-2.5 mm long, glabrous or with some fine, dark hairs; jugae ending in a short acute tooth. Median sepal not recurved, narrowly elliptic to oblong, 3.5-5 by 1.5-2.2 mm, tip acute to acuminate; margins entire, glabrous; base (rather) broadly attached; thick; glabrous adaxially; not keeled, slightly irregularly papillose and either with or without some fine dark hairs abaxially. Lateral sepals free, slightly recurved, slightly falcate, ovate to broadly ovate-oblong, oblique, 3.5-4.5 by 1.7-2.8 mm, base broadly attached; otherwise as the median sepal. Petals not recurved, slightly falcate, ovate lanceolate to narrowly triangular or linear, oblique, 1.9-2.8 by 0.2-0.9 mm, tip acute to acuminate; margins either entire or irregularly denticulate or lacerate near the base, glabrous; base broadly attached; thin; glabrous; not keeled abaxially. Lip recurved, elliptic in outline (not spread), 1.6-2 by 0.8 - 1 mm, tip rounded to about truncate; margins with a narrow, thin seam with edges which are densely beset with very long hairs; thick; surface glabrous; adaxially without ridges, with a slightly concave basal part, without a median slit; abaxially with a weak, rounded ridge in the basal half, top part convex. Column from the base of the free part up to the tip of the stelidia 1.5-2.2 mm long, with distinct, gradually tapering, more or less falcate, acute stelidia of 0.6-1 mm long; column with at most very inconspicuous, broadly rounded wings along its adaxial margins, just below the base of the stelidia; stigma without a basal callus. Anther c. 0.5 by 0.6 mm; front not drawn out; front margin rounded, slightly irregular, about glabrous; basally distinctly emarginate; abaxially with a distinct, bifid or truncate to rounded, colliculate ridge near the top of the anther which distinctly overtops the front margin, surface colliculate. Pollinia 4, ellipsoid to ovoid; the small ones much more than half as long as the large ones, distinctly flattened; the large ones flattened; a stipes has not been observed. Fruit ellipsoid, up to 0.8 by 0.45 cm, without a stalk.
Derivation of specific name:
elliottii: after George Francis Scott-Elliot (1862-1934), Scottish botanist who collected in South Africa.
Colours:
Pseudobulbs light green. Leaves light or medium green. Vegetative parts often heavily suffused with red. Rhachis duli green, suffused with brownish purple, or entirely dark reddish purple or brownish purple. Sepals greenish or yellow, adaxially spotted or stained dark red or almost entirely dark red except for the central part; abaxially stained or suffused with dark red. Petals yellowish white, with dark red margins or midnerve, or entirely dark red. Lip very dark red, often with a white base; hairs along margins white. Column pale yellow.
Habitat:
Dry Brachystegia woodland, less common in montane forest, at 300-1800 m alt. Epiphyte in the central part of the crown of trees. Usually growing among lichens (La Croix, written comm.). Occasionally lithophytic.
Flowering time:
Mainly Feb – Apr
Notes:
1 - No important differences exist between the type of Bulbophyllum malawiense from MAL. and the type of Bulbophyllum elliotii of Madagascar.
2 - Bulbophyllum elliotii is variable in the shape of the petals. Some specimens have narrowly triangular to linear petals, gradually narrowing from a wide and slightly thickened base, with glabrous margins. Others have ovate-lanceolate petals with slightly and irregularly denticulate or lacerate margins near the base. Drawings of a series of intermediate petals have been added to fig. 56; this variability could not be used to distinguish varieties.
The species is also variable in the shape of the abaxial ridge of the anther, see the description above. Here, too, intermediates exist. No relation has been found between the variability of the petals and that of the anther.
3 - The specimen Leedal 7252 from TANZ. probably is a natural hybrid between Bulbophyllum elliotii and Bulbophyllum encephalodes. The specimen has the distichous inflorescence and the warty top part of the lip of Bulbophyllum encephalodes but the eiliate rim along the margins of the lip of Bulbophyllum elliotii.
Cultivation:
It would be wise to mount these plants on tree fern or cedar slabs or perhaps on pieces of cypress knees with a small pad of moss under the roots. Careful attention to watering and ample fertilizer in warm conditions and bright light should assure excellent growth and flowering. These flowers are very colorful and quite attractive above the plant.
Distribution:
Tanzania to Mpumalanga, Madagascar
References:
Vermeulen, J.J. (1987). A Taxonomic Revision of the Continental African Bulbophyllinae Orchid Monographs Volume 2 E.J. Brill, Leiden-New York-Kopnhavn-Koln; La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1995). Orchidaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 11(1); La Croix, I. et al. (1991). Orchids of Malawi A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam; Linder, H.P. & Kurzweil, H. (1999). Orchids of Southern Africa A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Images:
Click on each image to see a larger version.

Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ 
bulbophyllum elliotii  01  bulbophyllum elliotii  02 
Photograph©Bart
Wursten. Image used
with kind permission. 
Photograph©Bart
Wursten. Image used
with kind permission. 






















Key to the varieties of Bulbophyllum saltatorium

1 The very fine and velvety or wooly hairs that arise along the margins of the adaxial side of the lip constitute a
thick rim up to the extreme tip of the lip; in the top part of the lip they are never coarser and longer 
var. calamarium 
1a The very fine and velvety or wooly hairs that arise along the margins of the adaxial side of the lip constitute a
thick rim only to about half-way the lip; in the top half of the lip they either gradually disappear or become
much coarser and longer 
2
2 Inflorescence 8 cm or shorter, not or only slightly overtopping the leaves; 15-30 flowers in a dense raceme  var. saltatorium  
2a Inflorescence 6.5 cm or longer (if less than 8 cm long with only very few, widely spaced flowers), usually
largely overtopping the leaves; raceme either dense or lax 
var. albociliatum 

References:
Vermeulen, J.J. (1987). A Taxonomic Revision of the Continental African Bulbophyllinae Orchid Monographs Volume 2 E.J. Brill, Leiden-New York-Kopnhavn-Koln; WCSP (2018). 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://wcsp.science.kew.org Retrieved 17/10/2019

Key to the subspecies of Bulbophyllum bidenticulatum J.J.Verm.

1 Median sepal 3.9-4.5 mm long  ssp. bidenticulatum
1a Median sepal c. 6 mm long (one specimen seen)  ssp. joyceae  

References:
Vermeulen, J.J. (1987). A Taxonomic Revision of the Continental African Bulbophyllinae Orchid Monographs Volume 2 E.J. Brill, Leiden-New York-Kopnhavn-Koln; WCSP (2018). 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://wcsp.science.kew.org Retrieved 18/10/2019

Key to the varieties of Bulbophyllum josephi (Kuntze) Summerh.

1 Column with rather weak, deltoid, obtuse teeth along the adaxial margins, just below the base of the stelidia  var. mahonii 
1a Column without teeth along the adaxial margins  var. josephii 

References:
Vermeulen, J.J. (1987). A Taxonomic Revision of the Continental African Bulbophyllinae Orchid Monographs Volume 2 E.J. Brill, Leiden-New York-Kopnhavn-Koln; World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://wcsp.science.kew.org Retrieved 17-10-2019