AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Aerangis bouarensis Chiron, Orchid Rev. 106(1222): 229 (1998).
Description:
Epiphytic herb with a short stem (c. 5 cm long and 7-8 mm in diameter), covered with the remains of old leaf bases;, roots numerous, up to 40 cm long, 3-4 mm in diameter, glabrous, the growing tips brownish-pink. Leaves 5-6, alternate, forming a fan. set about 1 cm apart, with a sheathing base 1-1.5 cm long, flat, up to 21 cm long and 5.3-6 cm wide, oblanceolate, the apex slightly bilobed, the lobes almost equal, obtuse, the sinus open, 5-8 mm deep; mid vein faintly visible on the upper surface; colour mid green, slightly reddish on the underside, with small black spots on both surfaces. Inflorescence arising from leaf axils, about 20 cm long, the peduncle 2 mm diameter; rhachis scarcely zigzag, with 4-5 flowers set about 3 cm apart. Pedicel and ovary slender, about 5 cm long; bract blackish, 9-10 x 5-6 mm, linear, obtuse. Flowers starry, c. 7 cm diameter; sepals and petals white, tipped with pink; lip and spur of a uniform chestnut-pink. Dorsal sepal 35-36 x 4 mm, lanceolate-elliptic, acuminate; lateral sepals similar but narrowly linear, acuminate; petals 30 x 5-5 5 mm, narrowly linear, acuminate; lip similar in shape, 36-37 x 5 mm, with 2 folds at the mouth of the spur; spur 19 cm long, 2-3 mm diameter but slightly inflated in the apical quarter, the apex acute, straight, slightly recurved at the tip. Column 12 x 3-4 mm, straight, relatively slender, with a small tooth at the base just above the entrance to the spur.
Cultivation:
The plant flowers in July and August. No perfume has been noted at any time of the day. It is grown in a fairly bright, temperate glasshouse, with a constant humidity of 70% or more. It is mounted on a slab of cork: a little moss has developed, keeping the roots constantly moist. It is sprayed even every day in summer, less often in winter.
Habitat:
?
Distribution:
Cameroon to Central African Rep.
References:
Chiron (1998) In: Orchid Rev. 106(1222): 229; WCSP (2017). WCSP (2017). 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 18.01-2017; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
Images:
Click on each image to see a larger version.