AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Microcoelia aphylla (Thouars) Summerh., Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1936: 233 (1936).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Angraecum aphyllum Thouars, Hist. Orchid.: 73 (1822).
Aerobion aphyllum (Thouars) Spreng., Syst. Veg. 3: 718 (1826).
Gussonea aphylla (Thouars) A.Rich., Mém. Soc. Hist. Nat. Paris 4: 68 (1828).
Saccolabium aphyllum (Thouars) Lindl., Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl.: 223 (1833).
Epidorkis aphylla (Thouars) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 660 (1891).
Gastrochilus aphyllus (Thouars) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 661 (1891).
Mystacidium aphyllum (Thouars) Cordem., Fl. Réunion: 219 (1895).
Rhaphidorhynchus aphyllus (Thouars) Finet, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 54(9): 35 (1907).
Solenangis aphylla (Thouars) Summerh., Bot. Mus. Leafl. 11: 159 (1943).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Angraecum defoliatum Schltr., Ann. Mus. Colon. Marseille, III, 1: 191 (1913).
Gussonea defoliata (Schltr.) Schltr., Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 33(2): 425 (1915).
Solenangis defoliata (Schltr.) R.Rice, Prelim. Checklist & Survey Subtrib. Aerangidinae (Orchidac.): 43 (2005).
Description:
Stem elongated, often branching, to 30-40 cm long, 2-2.5 mm in diameter; roots very long, cylindrical and thin (2 mm in diameter at most); inflorescences very numerous, 1-2 cm long 8-15 flowered; bracts very small, oval-acute. Sepals oval-oblong, 3-3.2 mm long, the median obtuse, the laterals (3 x 1.3 mm) slightly apiculate, enlarged-rounded on the front margin. Petals oblong (2.6 x 1.2 mm) obtuse. Labellum sub- orbicular (1.8-2 x 1 .2 mm) margins of the spur oriface slightly projecting; spur thick, 5- 5.5 mm long generally, recurved-hook shaped and swollen-ball shaped apically. Column with the rear margins of the clinandrium angular and projecting, rostellum bifid. Anther with a triangular-sub obtuse tongue. Pedicel 4-4.5 mm long.
Habitat:
Epiphytic at low levels in thicket and riverine forest, to 900 m.
Cultivation:
Mounted, in moderate shade at intermediate temperatures. Although the flowers are small, the numerous, dense inflorescences make this an attractive plant.
Distribution:
Kenya to Mozambique, W. Indian Ocean
References:
Historie Particulier des Plantes Orchidees Recueilles Sur Trois Iles Australes d'Afrique Thouars 1822; Orchids of East Africa Piers 1968; Flora of Tropical East Africa Orchidaceae Part 3 Cribb 1989; Flora Of Madagascar Perrier 1936/1981; Orchids of Kenya Stewart & Campbell; Flora Zambesiaca Vol 11 Part 2 Pope 1998; Angraecoid Orchids Stewart, Hermans, Campbell 2006; Orchids of Madagascar Hermans 2007; Field Guide to the Orchids of Madagascar Cribb & Herman 2009 WCSP (2017). 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 03.03-2017; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
Images:
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Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ
Microcoelia aphylla 01  Microcoelia aphylla 02  Microcoelia aphylla 03  Microcoelia aphylla 04  Microcoelia aphylla 05  Microcoelia aphylla 06 
Photograph ©Frederic
Henze. Image used with
kind permission.
Photograph ©Frederic
Henze. Image used with
kind permission.
Photograph ©Frederic
Henze. Image used with
kind permission.
Photograph ©Frederic
Henze. Image used with
kind permission.
Photograph ©Frederic
Henze. Image used with
kind permission.
Photograph ©Frederic
Henze. Image used with
kind permission.