AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Mystacidium pusillum Harv., Thes. Cap. 2: 47 (1863).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Aeranthes pusilla (Harv.) Rchb.f., Flora 50: 117 (1867).
Description:
The smallest species of Mystacidium, virtually stemless; roots few, fine, 1 mm in diameter. Leaves two to five, 15-27 x 5-6 mm, elliptic. Inflorescences pendent, to 17 mm long, 2- to 5-flowered. Flowers pate green, 6-7 mm in diameter. Dorsal sepal 2 x 1 mm; laterals 3 mm long; petals slightly smaller than dorsal sepal. Lip 2 mm long, lanceolate, obtuse; spur 13-16 mm long, tapering from a wide mouth.
Habitat:
Epiphytic on bushes in scrub vegetation in light shade, 900-1200 m (3000-4000 Et.).
Cultivation:
Not known to be in cultivation outside South Africa, where it is grown by same enthusiasts. Being so small, it would need fairly high humidity all year round, even though it might have to survive a long dry season in the wild.
Distribution:
S. Africa
References:
Wild Orchids of Southern Africa Stewart, Linder, Schelpe & Hall 1982; African Orchids In the Wild and Cultivation La Croix 1997; Angraecoid Orchids Stewart, Hermans and Campbell 2006; WCSP (2017). 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 07.03-2017; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
Images:
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Photograph© Lourens Grobler. Image used with kind permission. Photograph© Lourens Grobler. Image used with kind permission. Photograph© Lourens Grobler. Image used with kind permission. Photograph© Lourens Grobler. Image used with kind permission. Photograph© Lourens Grobler. Image used with kind permission. Photograph© Lourens Grobler. Image used with kind permission.