AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Mystacidium tanganyikense Summerh., Bot. Mus. Leafl. 12: 113 (1945).
Description:
A dwarf species, virtually stemless; roots very fine, 1 mm in diameter. Leaves two to five, 1.5-5 x 0.5-1 cm, oblanceolate, unequally and obtusely bilobed at the apex, dark green with raised, reticulate venation. Inflorescences to 6 cm long, rather laxly several-flowered. Flowers starry, translucent pale green or white, 10-15 mm in diameter. Pedicel and ovary 6-12 mm long, very slender. Sepals and petals lanceolate, acute, spreading; dorsal sepal4-8 x 1-2 mm; laterals longer and rather oblique; petals slightly shorter. Lip 5-7 x 3 mm, lanceolate, acute, very obscurely trilobed at the base; spur 1-2 cm long, tapering from a wide mouth. Column 1 mm long.
Habitat:
Epiphytic in montane and submontane forest, growing on twigs, small branches, and lianas, usually sunk in moss and often abundant where it occurs, 1300-2500 m.
Cultivation:
Intermediate to cool temperatures, heavy shade and high humidity.
Distribution:
Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
References:
Orchids of East Africa Piers 1968; The Orchids of South Central Africa Williamson 1977; Flora of Tropical East Africa Orchidaceae Part 3 Cribb 1989; Orchids of Kenya Stewart 1996; African Orchids in the Wild and Cultivation La Croix 1997; Flora Zambesiaca Vol 11 Part 2 Pope 1998; 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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Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ
Mystacidium tanganyikense 01 Mystacidium tangayikense 02
Photograph© Lourens Grobler. Image used with kind permission. Photograph© Lourens Grobler. Image used with kind permission.