AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Oeceoclades saundersiana (Rchb.f.) Garay & P.Taylor, Bot. Mus. Leafl. 24: 270 (1976).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Eulophia saundersiana Rchb.f., Bot. Zeitung (Berlin) 24: 378 (1866).
Graphorkis saundersiana (Rchb.f.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 662 (1891).
Eulophidium saundersianum (Rchb.f.) Summerh., Bull. Jard. Bot. État 27: 401 (1957).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Lissochilus barombensis Kraenzl., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 17: 51 (1893).
Eulophia bieleri De Wild., Not. Pl. Util. Congo 1: 311 (1904).
Eulophia mildbraedii Kraenzl., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 43: 933 (1909).
Description:
Terrestrial herb 40–80 cm high. Pseudobulbs 4–15 cm long and up to 2.5 cm wide, narrowly ovoid to fusiform, very slightly compressed, forming clumps. Roots fleshy, 3–4 mm in diameter. Leaves 2 (rarely 1), petiolate; petiole 6–17 cm long, irregularly articulated; lamina 10–26 × 3–8 cm, longer than the petiole, narrowly elliptic or ovate-elliptic, acute or acuminate, undulate on the margins, dark glossy green. Inflorescence erect, 16–30 cm long, simple or with 1–2 short branches, several- to many-flowered. Pedicel and ovary 12–18 mm long, slender, red-brown; bracts 2–8 mm long, narrowly ovate-elliptic, with a basal extra-floral nectary. Sepals and petals greenish-yellow with 3–5 purple veins; lip pale yellow or greenish-cream with purple veins on the side lobes; calli cream; spur red-brown; column green with a yellow anther. Sepals 8.5–14 × 3–5 mm, narrowly oblong or obovate-oblong, obtuse, the lateral sepals usually slightly longer than the dorsal sepal. Petals 8–13 × 4.5–7 mm, ovate, obtuse, curving forwards. Lip 10–15 mm long, 3-lobed, the mid-lobe 8–12 × 7–14 mm, deeply divided into 2 oblong or oblong-orbicular lobules; side lobes ± orbicular, erect or spreading; disk papillose, callus with 2 fleshy keels, shortly pubescent at the mouth of the spur and at the apex; spur 4–6 mm long, cylindrical, obtuse. Column 4 mm long, 2 mm broad, with a short foot.
Habitat:
In damp shade in forest and thicket, often in riverine forest, to 1200 m (4000 ft.).
Cultivation:
Unlike many other species of Oeceoclades that are found in essentially dry areas, this species occurs in wetter areas and so should not be kept so dry.
Distribution:
Angola, Cameroon, Gabon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire, Zambia.
References:
Flora Zambesiaca, Orchidacae (Part 2); Orchids of East Africa Piers 1968; Flora of Tropical East Africa Orchidaceae Part 3 Cribb 1989; The Manual Of Cultivated Orchid Species Bechtel, Cribb & Launert 1992; Orchids of Kenya Stewart & Campbell 1996 photo fide; African Orchids in the Wild and Cultivation La Croix 1997; Field Guide to the Ethiopian Orchids Demissew, Cribb & Rasmussen 2004
Images:
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In culture In culture
Oeceoclades saundersiana  01 Oeceoclades saundersiana  02
Photograph© Lourens
Grobler. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Lourens
Grobler. Image used
with kind permission.