Mystacidium gracile Harv., Thes. Cap. 2: 48 (1863).
Aeranthes gracilis (Harv.) Rchb.f., Flora 50: 117 (1867).
A very slender species. Roots very fine, 1 mm in diameter, in a clump. Leaves usually absent (and then the plant looks like a species of Microcoelia), but a few are sometime produced, more often in cultivation than in the wild; these are to 3 cm x 3 mm, elliptic or linear. Inflorescences 4-10 cm long, 4- to 12-flowered in two rows. Flowers greenish-white, fragile-looking, 14 mm in diameter. Dorsal sepal 5 x 1.5 mm, ovate, acute; lateral sepals spreading, 6 x 2, obliquely lanceolate from a narrow base. Petals 4 x 1 mm, linear. Lip 4 x 1.5 mm, obscurely trilobed at the base, the midlobe tapering, acute; spur 2-2.5 cm (1 in.) long, slender, tapering from a wide mouth.
Epiphytic on trunks and main branches of forest trees, to 1800 m.
In heavy shade, with high humidity, cold to cool growing epiphyte.
Zimbabwe to S. Africa
Flora of Madagascar Perrier 1939/81; Wild Orchids of Southern Africa Stewart, Linder, Schelpe & Hall 1982; African Orchids in the Wild and Cultivation La Croix 1996; Flora Zambesiaca Vol 11 Part 2 Pope 1998; Angraecoid Orchids Stewart, Hermans, Campbell 2006; Orchid Digest Vol 71 No 1 2007; Field Guide to the Orchids of Northern South Africa and Swaziland McMurty, Grobler, Grobler & Burns 2008; WCSP (2017). 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 07.03-2017; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
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