AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Cryptopus elatus (Thouars) Lindl., Bot. Reg. 10: t. 817 (1825).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Angraecum elatum Thouars, Hist. Orchid.: 79 (1822).
Beclardia elata (Thouars) A.Rich., Mém. Soc. Hist. Nat. Paris 4: 69 (1828).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Limodorum dipterum Tausch ex Steud., Nomencl. Bot., ed. 2, 2: 46 (1841).
Epidendrum dipterum Sieber ex Ridl., J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 21: 498 (1855).
Description:
Plants with elongated stems, cylindrical, slightly sinuate, generally 4-5 mm in diameter. Leaves oblong or oval-oblong (2.5-7 cm x 12-16 mm), emarginate-obtuse apically, very distant. Inflorescence 30- 60 cm long, from in the axillary sheaths; peduncle with 4 short sheaths, shorter than the cluster; cluster simple or sometimes 1 or 2 branched, branches short and basal, 7-13 flowered; bracts deltoid, small; flowers white, turning yellowish with age. Sepals spatulate, 16 mm long generally. Petals twice as long, longly unguiculate, then abruptly dilate in an irregularly 4 lobed lamina. Labellum longer than the sepals, 4 lobed, the inferior lobes small, narrow and incurved sickle-shaped, the superiors at the apex, diverging and separated by a small apicule, narrow basally, enlarged and irregularly lobulate apically; spur 25 mm long, swollen at its oriface, then attenuate, shorter than the pedicel. Pollina of the Oeonias, the retinacle provided toward the base with glandular hairs on the front surface.
Habitat:
On tree trunks, bushes and rocks at elevations of sea leavel to 800 meters.
Cultivation:
As given for the genus, hot warm growing epiphyte or lithophyte.
Distribution:
Mascarenes
References:
Historie Particulier des Plantes Orchidees Recueilles Sur Trois Iles Australes d'Afrique Thouars 1822; Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965; AOS Bulletin Vol 49 No 6 1980; AOS Bulletin Vol 56 No 3 1987; AOS Bulletin Vol 66 No 8 1997; Angraecoid Orchids Stewart, Campbell and Hermans 2006; WCSP (2017). 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 25.02-2017; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
Images:
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Cryptopus elatus 01 Cryptopus elatus  02 Cryptopus elatus  03 Cryptopus elatus  4
Photograph ©Gilles Grunenwald. Image used with kind permission. Photograph ©Gilles Grunenwald. Image used with kind permission. Photograph ©Gilles Grunenwald. Image used with kind permission. Photograph ©Gilles Grunenwald. Image used with kind permission.