AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Aeranthes parkesii G.Will., Kirkia 13: 250 (1990).
Description:
Epiphytic herb; stem short and woody, up to 12 mm long, covered with old leaf bases and remains of inflorescences. Leaves 2–6, distichous, 17 × 1.5 cm, lanceolate from a folded base, articulated to sheath, coriaceous, somewhat glaucous. Inflorescences (floral axes) 1–2, arising from base of stem, up to 20 cm long, erect or pendent, sometimes branched, each branch 1-flowered.Peduncle slender, covered with up to 15 imbricate, papery, sheathing bracts to 20 mm long. Pedicel and ovary to 15 mm long, sharply curved. Flowers translucent greenish-cream, darker at tepal and spur apices. Sepals to 20 × 7 mm, ovate, acuminate, curving forwards. Petals to 12 × 7 mm, ovate, acuminate, erect or recurved. Lip porrect, up to 10 × 10 mm, quadrate with an apical acumen c. 2 mm long; spur to 10 mm long, pendent, conical. Column c. 3 × 2 mm. Capsule to 30 × 6 mm, persistent for over 1 year.
Habitat:
Riverine forest, in mid canopy Low altitude
Cultivation:
As given for the genus
Notes:
This species closely resembles plants from Madagascar which key out to Aeranthes ramosa Rolfe. This is a polymorphic taxon which needs further investigation.
Distribution:
Zimbabwe (Mt. Nyangani)
References:
Golding, J.S. (ed.) (2002). Southern African Plant Red Data Lists. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 14. SABONET. Pretoria. Page 166; Kimberley, M.J. (2003). A List of Epiphytic Orchids of Zimbabwe Excelsa 20 Page 49; La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1998). Orchidaceae (Part 2) Flora Zambesiaca 11(2) Pages 367 – 368; Mapaura, A. (2002). Endemic Plant Species of Zimbabwe. Kirkia 18(1) Page 128; Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 94; Williamson, G. (1990). New Orchids from the Flora Zambesiaca Region Kirkia 13(2) Pages 250 - 251; WCSP (2017). 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 21.01-2017; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
Images:
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In culture
Aeranthes parkesii  01
Photograph© Lourens Grobler. Image used with kind permission.