AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Microcoelia elliotii (Finet) Summerh., Bot. Mus. Leafl. 11: 153 (1943).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Listrostachys elliottii Finet, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 54(9): 50 (1907).
Gussonea elliotii (Finet) Schltr., Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 33(2): 425 (1915).
Description:
Stem short, up to 20x2-3 mm. Scale-leaves acute, with 4-5 nerves, up to 2.6 mm long including ovary and pedicel, orange-red. Glandular hairs ± densely scattered on the ± loosely attached to the substrate, terete, smooth, up to 20 cm x 1.0-1.5 mm. Inflorescence(s) erect, spreading, up to 60 mm long, up to 3 simultaneously, usually dense, each with up to 15 flowers; peduncle short, up to 8 mm long; rachis ± straight, terete to slightly angled at the joints to the flowers; bracts sheathing, subacute to obtuse, with 1 nerve, up to 1.5 mm long. Pedicel long, often bent, up to 8 mm long, orange-red; ovary ± straight, up to 3x0.6 mm, orange-red. Flowers ± horizontal, up to 15 mm long including ovary and pedicel, orange-red. Glandular hairs ± densely scattered on the pedicel, in the furrows of the ovary and on the basal sides of the lateral sepals, sparse on the base of dorsal sepal and spur. Dorsal sepal hooded, elliptic, acute, with 3 nerves, up to 3x1.5 mm. Lateral sepals asymmetric, curved, ovate, acute, lower side rounded and extended, connate below ovary, with 3 nerves, c. 3.0x3.0 mm. Petals ± oblong, acute, thin, with 1 nerve or indistinctly with 1 or 2 lateral nerves, 2.0-2.5 x 1.0-1.5 mm. Labellum indistinctly 3-lobes; mid-lobe ± folded in natural position, broadly elliptic (outspread acute, subapiculate, with a row of distinct tubercles around the spur mouth, with 5-6 nerves; side-lobes indistinct, ± straight, with an uneven ± wedge-shaped thickening on each side of the spur mouth, up to 3.5x1.5-2.5 mm; spur long, perpendicular, ± curved towards the ovary, at the very base distinctly bent towards the lip, when fully developed narrowly cylindrical, apically ± spherically inflated, obtuse, up to 10 mm long, apical inflation c. 1 mm in diameter. Column elongated, recurved, c. 1.0 mm long and high; androclinium shallowly excavated; rostellum-lobes ± horizontal, narrowly wedge-shaped, up to 1.0 mm long. Anther hemispherical in side view, tapering into a long subacuminate prolongation, in median section ± narrowly triangular, up to c. 2 x 1 mm. Pollinia discoidal, slightly asymmetric; in side view ± broadly elliptic, up to c. 550 x 470µm; in median section obovate, up to c. 300 µm thick. Stipes ± straight from a curved flattened base, bifid for about 2/3 of the total length, apically channelled, up to 2.3 mm long; each branch ligu-late, widening into a cup-shaped apex, ± rounded-triangular in outline, up to 440 x 360 µm; viscidium convex, ± oblong, obtuse, posterior end truncate with a central furrow, up to 0.8x0.4 mm.
Etymology:
Named in honour of the English collector, G. F. Scott Elliot (1862-1934), who collected the type specimen near Tolanaro.
Habitat:
Dense rain forest, epiphytic on trees. Altitude. ? up to 1300 m.
Flowering period:
Recorded from the end of the rainy season, i.e., after the cyclone time.
Cultivation:
As given for the genus.
Notes:
Another species with a divided stipes, which, however, in the specimen of the Type Collection at Kew, is only divided in the upper half and not almost to the base as shown in Finet's illustration. The long spur, incurved at the base and of uniform thickness throughout its entire length, is also characteristic.
Distribution:
Madagascar
References:
WCSP (2017). 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 03.03-2017; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
Images:
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