AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Lemurella virescens H.Perrier, Notul. Syst. (Paris) 7: 135 (1938).
Description:
Plants sub acaulis or with a short stem, to nearly 5 cm long, sinuate and 2.5 mm in diameter, sheaths short and with 6 projecting veins, bearing 5-7 leaves, linear (2.5-4.2 cm x 3.5-4 mm), subacute, slightly attenuate toward both ends, rigid and very coriaceous. Inflorescence from in the axillary sheaths, below the leaves, equal to or slightly longer, ordinarily simple, sometimes several branched, rarely single flowered, most often 3-4 flowered, upright and rigid; peduncle nearly filiform, 3-5 cm long, bearing several sheaths (2-3 basally and 1 other medially); bracts very small, generally l mm long; flowers greenish, very small. Median sepal oblong (4 x 1.7 mm), slightly attenuate toward the base, sub obtuse, with the veins slightly visible, lateral sepals narrowly lanceolate (7 x 1.2 mm curved sickle-shaped, very acute, attenuate toward both ends, 1 veined, vein projecting slightly behind. Petals narrowly deltoid-acute (3.5 x 1.4 mm), 1 veined. Labellum trilobed, 5 mm long, inferior half infundibuliform, obscurely bilobed thin and translucid including the 2 lateral lobes, 2.6 mm wide between the lobes, and 5 veined, the 3 median straight and entering the spur, the laterals curved and meeting the column basally; median lobe opaque and without any visible veins, oval-lanceolate (2.6 x 1.2 mm), obtuse; spur oriface 1.5 mm wide, attenuate nearly to the center, then swollen-clavate-oblong apically, to l cm, long. Anther truncate in front; pollina with their cauda retracted, joined by a cylindrical retinacle (0.7 x 0.27 mm). Column thicker than tall (1 mm), auricles rounded, median tongue of the rostellum acicular, longer than the auricles. Pedicel 5- 7 mm Capsule with the pedicel 5mm long, 9 x 5 mm, obtuse at both ends, 3 angled, thick and obtuse and with the projecting suturals absent.
Habitat:
Epiphyte of trunks; in mossy forests; from 1200 m alt. flowering in February.
Notes:
This species has narrow, linear leaves and the smallest flowers in the genus.
Cultivation:
As given for the genus.
Distribution:
E. Madagascar
References:
WCSP (2017). 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 10.03-2017; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
Images:
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