AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Tridactyle tridentata (Harv.) Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 53: 603 (1915).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Angraecum tridentatum Harv., Thes. Cap. 2: 6 (1863).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Angraecum goetzeanum Kraenzl., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 30: 289 (1901).
Angraecum bolusii Rolfe in W.H.Harvey & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Cap. 5(3): 73 (1912).
Tridactyle bolusii (Rolfe) Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 53: 603 (1915).
Tridactyle goetzeana (Kraenzl.) Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 53: 602 (1915).
Tridactyle teretifolia Schltr. in R.E.Fries, Wiss. Erg. Schwed. Rhod.-Kongo Exped. 1: 251 (1916).
Angraecum hislopii Rolfe, Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1920: 130 (1920).
Description:
Stems 10-50 cm long, erect or pendent, sometimes branched towards the base; roots 2-4 mm in diameter, smooth, arising at base of stem. Leaves several, borne on apical half of stem, 6-10 x 2-4 cm, cylindrical, often, but not always, with a groove along the upper surface, dull olive green, the sheaths spotted with dark brown. Inflorescences borne along the stem, 1.5-2.5 cm long, densely 4- to 8-flowered. Flowers straw-yellow, the anther cap slightly darker, 6 mm in diameter. Pedicel and ovary 3-5 mm long, scaly; bracts less than 1 mm long. Sepals 3-5 x 2-3 mm, ovate, acute. Petals 3-5 x 1 mm, lanceolate, acute. Lip auriculate at base, 3-5 mm long, trilobed near the apex; midlobe 1-2 mm long, triangular, acute; side lobes from slightly shorter to slightly longer than the midlobe, very slender. Spur 6-18 mm long, straight, parallel to the, ovary. Column 1 mm long.
Habitat:
Epiphytic in woodland, often but not always, in drier areas, occasionally lithophytic, 900-2250 m.
Cultivation:
In a pot or basket at intermediate to warm temperatures, with fairly good light. Plants should be kept much drier in the resting season.
Notes:
This is a very variable species, and it is not impossible that some of the synonyms might ret be reinstated as species in their own right. However, it is difficult to pick out consistent features, and plants within the same colony may vary greatly, some being erect plants with rather thick, grooved leaves while others are pendent with fine, needlelike leaves.
Distribution:
Angola, Burundi, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Mrica (Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal), Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
References:
Orchids of East Africa Piers 1968; Orchids of East Africa Piers 1968; The Orchids of South Central Africa Williamson 1977; The Orchids of South Central Africa Williamson 1977; Wild Orchids of Southern Africa Stewart, Linder, Schelpe & Hall 1982; Flora of Tropical East Africa Orchidaceae Part 3 Cribb 1989; Malawi Orchids La Croix 1983; 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; World Checklist of Monocotyledons. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://www.kew.org/wcsp/monocots/ accessed 21.03.2017
Images:
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        Habitat/In situ       Habitat/In situ      Habitat/In situ    Habitat/In situ    Habitat/In situ        Habitat/In situ        Habitat/In situ
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Photograph ©Leo Klemm. Image used with kind permission. Photograph ©Leo Klemm. Image used with kind permission. Photograph ©Leo Klemm. Image used with kind permission. Photograph ©Leo Klemm. Image used with kind permission. Photograph ©Leo Klemm. Image used with kind permission. Photograph ©Leo Klemm. Image used with kind permission. Photograph ©Leo Klemm. Image used with kind permission.

                    In culture                     In culture                   In culture
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Photograph ©Leo Klemm. Image used with kind permission. Photograph ©Leo Klemm. Image used with kind permission. Photograph ©Leo Klemm. Image used with kind permission.