AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Oeceoclades gracillima (Schltr.) Garay & P.Taylor, Bot. Mus. Leafl. 24: 262 (1976).
Homotypic Names:
Eulophidium gracillimum Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 33: 255 (1925).
Lissochilus gracillimus (Schltr.) H.Perrier, Fl. Madagasc. 49(2): 28 (1941).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Eulophia gracillima Schltr., Ann. Mus. Colon. Marseille, sér. 3, 1: 170 (1913), nom. illeg.
Eulophidium roseovariegatum Senghas, Adansonia, n.s., 6: 561 (1966).
Oeceoclades roseovariegata (Senghas) Garay & P.Taylor, Bot. Mus. Leafl. 24: 270 (1976).
Description:
A terrestrial plant with clustered growths about 2.6 in. (6.5 cm) tall.
Pseudobulb/stem:
1.0 in. (2.5 cm) long by 1.0 in. (2.5 cm) in diameter. The clustered, egg-shaped pseudobulbs are brownish violet.
Leaves:
1.6 in. (4 cm) long by 1.4 in. (3.5 cm) wide. Two egg-shaped or elliptic-ovate leaves are carried at the apex of the pseudobulb. They taper to sharply pointed tips, have undulate margins, and are dark purplish black, mottled with pale rose.
Inflorescence:
Up to 22 in. (55 cm) long. The erect flower spike emerges from the base of the pseudobulb. Flowers are carried in a laxly flowered raceme or sparsely branched panicle, each blossom with a triangular floral bract that is sharply pointed and 0.08-0.3 in. (0.2-0.8 cm) long.
Flowers:
Many small blossoms per inflorescence. The sepals and petals are dull green, flushed with purple on the outer surface, and the lip is white but densely spotted with red. The column is yellowish green, and the anther is ivory-white. The sepals are oblanceolate, bluntly pointed, and 0.2 in. (0.5-0.6 cm) long by 0.08 in. (0.2 cm) wide. The lateral sepals asre somewhat sickle-shaped. Petals are somewhat oblong-oblanceolate, bluntly pointed, and 0.2 in. (0.4-0.4 cm) long by 0.1 in. (0.3 cm) wide. The 3-lobed lip is 0.1-0.2 in. (0.35-0.4 cm) long by 0.3 in. (0.7-0.8 cm) wide. The oblong side lobes are erect with truncate tips. The somewhat 4-sided midlobe is strongly recurved and has a shallow notch in apical margin. The callus is 4-sided and grooved, and the spur is cylindrical, pendent, and 0.2 in. (0.5 cm) long.
Habitat:
This terrestrial orchid grows in mossy cracks in calcareous rocky terrain and semideciduous forest near Antseranana (formerly Diego-Suarez). Habitat elevation was not reported, so the following climate table and cultural suggestions are based on an estimated elevation and should be used rather cautiously until the actual habitat elevation is known.
Cultivation:
Read more of Cultivation of Oeceoclades gracillima (Schltr.) Garay & P.Taylor
Distribution:
N. & W. Madagascar
References:
Bechtel, H., P. Cribb, and E. Launert. 1980. Manual of cultivated orchid species. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass. Du Puy, D., P. Cribb, J. Bosser, J. and C. Hermans. 1999. The Orchids of Madagascar. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey TW9 3AB, England. Kew Data Base. 2019
Images:
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In culture In culture
oeceoclades gracillima oeceoclades gracillima 02
Photograph Karl Senghas©
Swiss Orchid Foundation at
the Herbarium Jany Renz
Image used with kind
permission.
Photograph Karl Senghas©
Swiss Orchid Foundation at
the Herbarium Jany Renz
Image used with kind
permission.