AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Cryptopus paniculatus H.Perrier, Notul. Syst. (Paris) 7: 136 (1938).
Description:
Plants with very long stems (40 cm and more), generally 4 mm in diameter, pendent or flat, sheaths with 13 heavy veins, the median of which projects behind; leaves elliptical (3.5-5 x 1.3-1.8 cm), obtuse at both ends. Inflorescence paniculate (1-4 branched), 20-40 cm long, from in the sheaths; peduncle 12- 18 cm long, heating a small number of sheaths; secondary branches 5-12 cm long, bearing 3-10 apical flowers; rachis nearly sinuate; bracts obtuse and short (2 mm). Median sepal obovate (6.5-7 x 3 mm), very obtuse, attenuate toward the base from the middle, finely 3 veined; lateral sepals longer (7.5-8 mm), obtusely dilate medially on the front margin, widest apically, 2 mm. Petals larger than the sepals (9 x 12 mm between the apical lobes), in the form of an anchor, gradually enlarged above the narrow base, then dilate in 2 lateral lobes, obtuse and incurved, front margins excised; 3 veined, very divided in each lobe. Labellum inserted in front of the spur oriface, deeply 3 lobed above the short base, concave and papillous above; median lobe narrowly obtriangular, 4.5 mm long and 2 mm wide, 1 veined; lateral lobes in the form of a pick. provided basally with an obtuse, papillous callum, narrow and 6 mm tall, enlarged laterally apically in 2 equal lobes, the internal curved, the external triangular-obtuse and wider, front margins verywidely rounded; spur short (a slight 2 mm), attenuate from the oriface (with the rear margins joined with the column) apically. Ancher wide (1.8 mm), widely and deeply excised in front, with the margins angular-acute; pollina obconical with their cauda retracted, inserted in a sort of cupule; retinacles 2, hyaline. Column very short; auricles sub rectangular; median tongue of the rostellum linear, longer than the auricles. Pedicel 1.2-1.5 cm long.
Habitat:
Endemic to humid, forested slopes of eastern Madagascar between 0-1000m elevation.
Cultivation:
Cryptopus paniculatus grows well under warm or intermediate conditions with medium light (2500fc), high humidity and good air movement. It must be mounted and watered often whilst still allowing its roots to dry-off between waterings.Average daytime temperature in summer 80-83°F/26-28°C, average year-round night temperature 55°F/13°C. Flowering in February.
Distribution:
ENE. Madagascar
References:
Flora of Madagascar Perrier 1939/83; Orchids of Madagascar Hermans 2007; Field Guide to the Orchids of Madagascar Cribb & Herman 2009; WCSP (2017). 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 25.02-2017; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
Images:
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In culture In culture
cryptopus paniculatus 01 cryptopus paniculatus 02
Photograph©Steve Beckendorf. Image used with kind permission. Photograph©Steve Beckendorf. Image used with kind permission.