AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Diaphananthe fragrantissima (Rchb.f.) Schltr., Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 36(2): 100 (1918).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Listrostachys fragrantissima Rchb.f., Flora 48: 189 (1865).
Mystacidium fragrantissimum (Rchb.f.) Benth. & Hook.f., Gen. Pl. 3: 584 (1883).
Epidorchis fragrantissima (Rchb.f.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 660 (1891).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Listrostachys kirkii Rolfe in D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 7: 164 (1897).
Listrostachys falcata De Wild., Not. Pl. Util. Congo 1: 146 (1903).
Listrostachys fimbriata Rolfe, Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1906: 115 (1906), nom. illeg.
Angraecum muansae Kraenzl., Orchis 2: 99 (1908).
Diaphananthe falcata (De Wild.) Schltr., Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 36(2): 100 (1918).
Diaphananthe fimbriata Schltr., Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 36(2): 100 (1918).
Diaphananthe kirkii (Rolfe) Schltr., Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 36(2): 101 (1918).
Diaphananthe muansae (Kraenzl.) Schltr., Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 36(2): 101 (1918).
Listrostachys muansae (Kraenzl.) Schltr., Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 36(2): 101 (1918).
Description:
Robust epiphytic herb; stem elongated, pendent, up to 50 cm long, covered in old woody leaf bases. Leaves several, pendent, 10–44 × 1–3.5 cm, falcate, linear-oblanceolate, twisted at the base, fleshy. Inflorescences pendent, 20–60 cm long, densely many-flowered. Flowers greenish, greenish-yellow, creamy-yellow or almost white, with a musky scent, borne in whorls of 2–4 at the inflorescence nodes. Pedicel and ovary 1–2.2 mm long; bracts sheathing, 3–5 mm long. Dorsal sepal 7–13.5 × 2–3.5 mm, narrowly triangular, acute, arched; lateral sepals 9.5–14 × 2–3.5 mm, linear, falcate, acute. Petals 8–12 × 2–3 mm, linear to oblanceolate, acuminate. ip 7.5–13 × 5–8 mm, rectangular, the side margins erose, 3-lobed at the apex, the mid-lobe forming an acumen c. 2 mm long, and with a tooth in the mouth of the spur; spur 6–12.5 mm long, geniculate at the base, swollen in the middle. Column 2–3.5 mm long; rostellum bifid; stipites 2; viscidium 1.
Habitat:
Riverine forest and woodland, usually in hot, relatively low-lying areas 150–750 m.
Cultivation:
As given for the genus, hot to warm growing epiphyte.
Distribution:
Cameroon to SW. Ethiopia and NE. KwaZulu-Natal
References:
Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965; Orchids of East Africa Piers 1968; The Orchids of South Central Africa Williamson 1977; Wild Orchids of Southern Africa Stewart, Linder, Schelpe & Hall 1982; Orchids of the Central African Republic - A Provisional Checklist Cribb & Fay 1987; Flora of Tropical East Africa Orchidaceae Part 3 Cribb 1989; Orchids of Kenya Stewart 1996; African Orchids in the wild and Cultivation La Croix 1997; Flora Zambesiaca Vol 11 Part 2 Pope 1998; Field Guide to the Ethiopian Orchids Demissew, Cribb & Rasmussen 2004; Angraecoid Orchids Stewart, Hermans and Campbell 2006; WCSP (2017). 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 26.02-2017; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
Images:
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Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ
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Photograph©Bart Wursten. Image used with kind permission. Photograph©Bart Wursten. Image used with kind permission. Photograph©Bart Wursten. Image used with kind permission. Photograph©Bart Wursten. Image used with kind permission.