AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Rangaeris schliebenii (Mansf.) P.J.Cribb, in Fl. Trop. E. Afr., Orchid.(3): 570 (1989).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Leptocentrum schliebenii Mansf., Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 12: 704 (1935).
Barombia schliebenii (Mansf.) P.J.Cribb, S. African Orchid J. 11: 110 (1980).
Barombiella schliebenii (Mansf.) Szlach., Ann. Bot. Fenn. 40: 69 (2003).
Description:
Stems fairly short, to 10 cm long; roots long and stout, 4-5 mm in diameter. Leaves numerous, borne in a fan, 15-20 x 1-2.5 cm, linear to strap-shaped, unequally and roundly bilobed at the apex, folded, stiff. Inflorescences spreading, 18-30 cm long, 4- to 8-flowered. Flowers white, the spur greenish-orange. Pedicel and ovary 6-9 cm long; bracts l cm lang. Sepals and petals linear, acute, recurved, 35-40 x 3.5-4.5 mm. Lip 30-42 x 7-11 mm, recurved, narrowly elliptic, acuminate, the edges very finely toothed. Spur 16-19 cm (6-8 in.) long, tapering from a wide mouth to become very slender, pendent, straight. Column slender, 20-27 mm lang.
Habitat:
Riverine and submontane forest, 400-1400 m (1300-4600 Et.).
Cultivation:
This species has grown well in a pot with a coarse mix. The long roots wander about and try to bury themselves in other pots, so the plant might be even better in a basket. Furthermore, the flowers have long spurs and then a pot needs either to be suspended or stood on another upturned pot. Given the plant intermediate temperatures, fairly good light and is kept drier in winter. It flowers in winter (December and January).
Notes:
This strange-looking but beautiful species for a time shared the genus Barombia with the plant now known as Aerangis gracillima, which also has a very long, slender column.
Distribution:
Tanzania.
References:
Flora of Tropical East Africa Vol 11 Orchidaceae Part 3 Cribb 1989; Angraecoid Orchids Stewart, Hermans and Campbell 2006; WCSP (2017). 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 17.03.2017; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
Images:
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