AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Neobathiea perrieri (Schltr.) Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 33: 371 (1925).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Aeranthes perrieri Schltr., Ann. Inst. Bot.-Géol. Colon. Marseille, III, 1: 187 (1913).
Bathiea perrieri (Schltr.) Schltr., Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 33(2): 440 (1915).
Description:
Small subacaulis plants; leaves 4-6 with their sheaths striate, 5-6 mm tall and with the limbus oblong spatulate (3.5-7 x 1-1.9 cm), undulate marginally; and wider medially or above. Inflorescence 6-12 cm long twice as long as the leaves: peduncle rigid (1-1.5 mm in diameter), one or two flowered, with 2-3 short, appressed (5 mm at most) sheaths, one-sixth to one-tenth the length of the internodes; bracts 3-4 mm long, acute: flowers (on a two flowered inflorescence) 1cm apart, white very large. Sepals lanceolate spatulate, narrowed basally, acute apically and 22 mm, long. Petals similar to the sepals and nearly as large. Labellum lanceolate-acute, somewhat simulating a halberd head marginally, retuse and cordate basally, trilobed near the apex, 2 cm long, very wide between the lateral lobes; lateral lobes diverging, oval and attenuate-subacute toward the apex. median lobe oval, attenuate-acute, twice as large as the laterals. Spur curved in front, then pendent, enlarged near the oriface, filiform generally 7-10 cm long. Column very short, auricles subtruncate, large and truncate apically; median lobe of the rostellum much larger than the auricles. Pedicel generally 25 mm long
Habitat:
Neobathiea perrieri grows epiphytically on bushes in dry forest in western Madagascar, to which it is indigenous. It has been collected on the banks of the Besafotra, a tributary of the Menavava,in the west. The natural habitat of this species suggests a distinct, severe dry season. In Madagascar, flowering occurs in January, during the rainy season.
Cultivation:
This species can be potted if the mix is very airy-as with loose osmunda or sphagnum. Or mounted, on a 7 x 18 cm slab or ample. Light can be quite low and still produce flowers. Otherwise, all conditions are intermediate.
Notes:
This is a rather different little species—a semi-"mini," which should do well grown under lights. The flowers have a unique, interesting form that is sure to please.
Distribution:
N. & NW. Madagascar
References:
AOS Bulletin Vol 48 No 4 1979; AOS Bulletin Vol 52 No 12 1983; Cultivated Angraecoid Orchids Of Madagascar Hillerman & Holst 1986; Flora of Madagascar Perrier 1981; Angraecoid Orchids Stewart, Hermans, Campbell 2006; Orchids of Madagascar Hermans 2007; Field Guide to the Orchids of Madagascar Cribb & Herman 2009; WCSP (2017). 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 09.03-2017; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
Images:
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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. Photograph ©Gilles Grunenwald. Image used with kind permission. Photograph ©Gilles Grunenwald. Image used with kind permission.