AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Rangaeris muscicola (Rchb.f.) Summerh. in J.Hutchinson & J.M.Dalziel, Fl. W. Trop. Afr. 2: 450 (1936).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Aeranthes muscicola Rchb.f., Flora 48: 190 (1865).
Epidorkis muscicola (Rchb.f.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 660 (1891).
Mystacidium muscicola (Rchb.f.) T.Durand & Schinz, Consp. Fl. Afric. 5: 54 (1894).
Listrostachys muscicola (Rchb.f.) Rolfe in D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 7: 158 (1897).
Aerangis muscicola (Rchb.f.) Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 53: 599 (1915).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Angraecum englerianum Kraenzl., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 7: 333 (1886).
Listrostachys engleriana (Kraenzl.) Kraenzl., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 19: 254 (1894).
Mystacidium batesii Rolfe in D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 7: 172 (1897).
Angraecum batesii (Rolfe) Schltr., Westafr. Kautschuk-Exped.: 283 (1900), nom. illeg.
Aerangis batesii (Rolfe) Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 53: 599 (1915).
Aerangis engleriana (Kraenzl.) Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 53: 599 (1915).
Aerangis falcifolia Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 53: 598 (1915).
Angraecum solheidii De Wild., Bull. Jard. Bot. État Bruxelles 5: 191 (1916).
Listrostachys solheidii De Wild., Bull. Jard. Bot. État Bruxelles 5: 191 (1916).
Aerangis mixta Schltr., Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 36(2): 122 (1918).
Aerangis solheidii (De Wild.) Schltr., Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 36(2): 123 (1918).
Listrostachys floribunda Rolfe, Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1918: 236 (1918).
Aerangis floribunda (Rolfe) Summerh., Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1932: 509 (1932).
Description:
A short monopodial epiphyte with thick roots at the base. Pseudobulb/stem: Usually no more than 2.4 in. (6 cm) long. The short stem is upright and is concealed by the distichous, overlapping, longitudinally folded leaf bases. Leaves: 2.4-8.0 in. (6-20 cm) long by 0.2-0.5 in. (0.6-1.2 cm) wide. Four to eleven narrowly strap-shaped to linear, longitudinally folded leaves with closely overlapping bases and unequal rounded lobes at the apex are arranged in 2 rows to produce a fanlike shape on each stem. They are green, rather stiff, and somewhat recurved. Inflorescence: 4-12 in. (10-30 cm) long, with a very short peduncle. One or two inflorescences arise from the lower leaf axils and may be rather erect or arch away from the stem. Flowers are arranged in 2 rows along the raceme, each blossom with a black floral bract that is 0.1-0.4 in. (0.3-0.9 cm) long and carried on a slender pedicellate ovary that is 1 in. (2.5 cm) long. Flowers: 10-20 per inflorescence. The sweetly scented flowers are white but become apricot-colored with age and have a pinkish orange spur. The spreading blossoms, which are variable in size, have lanceolate, sharply pointed sepals that are 0.3-0.4 in. (0.7-0.9 cm) long by 0.1-0.2 in. (0.25-0.4 cm) wide. The dorsal sepal is erect, while the slightly narrower lateral sepals are obliquely descending at the base but curve more or less downward along their length so that their tips may sometimes be almost parallel. The elliptic or lanceolate petals are sharply pointed, somewhat reflexed, and 0.3 in. (0.65-0.8 cm) long by 0.06-0.1 in. (0.15-0.3 cm) wide. The broadly egg-shaped lip is 0.3-0.4 in. (0.65-0.9 cm) long by 0.2-0.3 in. (0.4-0.7 cm) wide and tapers to a sharply pointed tip that curves downward so that the tip is held in a more or less pendent position but may at times continue curving so that the tip projects toward the rear. There is a long, very slender, pendent spur at the base of the lip that is 2.2-3.3 in. (5.5-8.5 cm) long and may be straight or slightly S-shaped. The column is 0.1-0.2 in. (0.3-0.45 cm) long.
Habitat:
This orchid is widely distributed, with plants reported from Cameroon, Congo, Ghana, Guinea, Ivory Coast Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanznia, Uganda, Zaire, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Plants are found in various habitats from evergreen forests to woodlands at 1950-7200 ft. (600-2200 m), and may sometimes be found on rocks on hilltops. In Kenya, plants grow mostly as epiphytes in humid forests, usually growing among mosses on well-shaded branches. They are known from the warmer forests in central Kenya, including the Ngong Hills, the area around Nairobu, Nadau Hill near Kitui, Kericho and Mt. Elgon, growing at 3950-7200 ft. (1200-2200 m).
Cultivation:
Read more of Cultivation of Rangaeris muscicola (Rchb.f.) Summerh.
References:
la Croix, I. and E. la Croix. 1997. African orchids in the wild and in cultivation. Timber Press, Portland, OR. Stewart, J. and B. Campbell. 1996. Orchids of Kenya. Timber Press, Portland, OR. Tropicos W3, Missouri Botanical Garden, Nomenclatural Data Base, July 20, 2004; WCSP (2017). 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 17.03.2017; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
Images:
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Habitat/In situ           Habitat/In situ           Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ
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Photograph©Bart Wursten. Image used with kind permission. Photograph©Bart Wursten. Image used with kind permission. Photograph© Nicholas Case
Wightman Image used with kind permission.
Photograph© Nicholas Case
Wightman Image used with kind permission.
Photograph© Nicholas Case
Wightman Image used with kind permission.