AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Microcoelia ornithocephala P.J.Cribb, Kew Bull. 40: 407 (1985).
Description:
Roots flattened, slightly keeled on top, clinging close to the bark of the host tree, 30-40 cm x 2-4 mm, unbranched, gray-green with white, longitudinal flecks. Inflorescences several, 3-7 cm long, to 20-flowered. Pedicel and ovary 6 cm long; bracts 1 mm long, black, sheathing. Sepals and petals pinkish-beige, tip white. Dorsal sepal 5 x 4 mm, ovate, convex; laterals spreading, slightly narrower. Petals spreading, 4 x 1.5 mm, oblong. Lip 6 x 3 mm, obovate, acute, with the apex slightly reflexed, and with two green tubercles at the mouth of the spur; spur 6 mm long, tapering from a wide mouth, then swollen again at the apex, C-shaped. Column 1.5 mm long, anther cap orange, beaked. Capsule to 24 x 2 mm, banana-shaped.
Habitat:
Dry deciduous forest and thicket, 600 m.
Cultivation:
As given for the genus.
Notes:
This very distinctive species seems to be rare in the wild.
Distribution:
S. Malawi
References:
WCSP (2017). 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 03.03-2017; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
Images:
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