AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Dinklageella scandens Stévart & P.J.Cribb, Kew Bull. 59: 79 (2004).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Solenangis saotomensis R.Rice, Oasis 3: 14 (2006).
Description:
A scrambling herb with an elongate, climbing, many-leaved, terete stem, to 37 × 0.4 cm; roots aerial, stilt-like, to 22 × 0.15 cm. Leaves distichous or opposite, coriaceous, 1.9 - 2.6 cm apart, pendulous to erect-spreading, indistinctly to distinctly keeled, articulate to 1.4 - 1.9 cm long conduplicate basal sheaths; petiole to 1 × 3 - 4 mm; blade 2 - 4.5 × 0.8 - 1.9 cm, ovate to oblong, unequally to equally obtusely bilobcd. Inflorescence axillary, spreading to suberect, 7.3 - 10.4 cm long, 5 - 8-flowered; peduncle 2.3 - 2.7 × 0.12 cm; rachis 4.5 - 5.3 × 0.16 - 0.2 cm; bracts 3.5 - 5 × 3 mm, sheathing, triangular, shorter than the pedicel and ovary. Flowers white, sparsely black-pubescent; pedicel and ovary curved, 12 - 16 mm long. Dorsal sepal 8 - 9 × 3 - 4 mm, obovate, slightly emarginatc at apex. Lateral sepals 10.5 - 11 × 4 - 5 mm, obliquely elliptic to obovatc, pubescent, slightly keeled and apiculate. Petals 10.5 - 11 × 3.6 mm, angular-obovate. Lip 16 - 19 × 11 - 12 mm, 3-lobed in the middle; claw 6 - 7.5 × 3.5 - 4.5 mm, canaliculate; lateral lobes 4 - 6 × 2.5 - 3.5 mm, oblong, apex obtuse; mid-lobe 8 - 9.5 × 2 - 2.5 mm, narrowly oblong, apex entire, truncate or denticulate; spur 2.5 - 3.5 × 2 mm long, swollen from a narrow base, compressed, puberulous. Column very short, apex truncate, 1.5 mm high; anther cap 1 × 1 mm, hemispherical; rostellum bifid when pollinaria are removed, lobes obliquely erect, 0.3 mm long; stipes not seen; viscidium not seen. Capsules 6 × 1.2 cm, ellipsoidal.
Habitat:
This species is a climbing chamaephyte which grows in swamp meadows. It is found amongst the vegetation of Lagoa Amelia (which is an ancient volcanic crater, now filled in), in areas covered by open vegetation characterized by Heteradelphia paulowilhemia and Rapanea melanophloeos. In this habitat, the taxon is terrestrial and forms dense populations, individuals above the herbaceous stratum kept together by long aerial roots (Stévart and Cribb 2004).
Cultivation:
As given for the genus.
Distribution:
São Tomé.
References:
WCSP (2017). 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 17.03.2017; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
Images:
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