AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Neobathiea spatulata H.Perrier, Notul. Syst. (Paris) 7: 50 (1938).
Description:
Stem slightly compressed, almost sinuate, more or lens elongated. 3-20 cm long, covered by the sheaths which are heavily 7 veined and bearing near the apex, the leaves more or less numerous and of about the same length as the stem, elliptical (2.3-3.5 x 1-1.5 cm), obtuse at both ends, terminal lobes large and unequal. Inflorescence 2.5-8 cm, 1-7 flowered, loosely arranged; peduncle (3-4 cm.) bearing 2-3 short, obtuse sheaths near the base, obtuse and compressed; rachis slightly sinuate; bracts obtuse. 2.5- 3 mm long; flowers white. Median sepal spatulate (12 x 4 mm), toward the base very narrowly cuneiform, subopaque and with 3 obsolete veins; lateral sepals almost similar, but longer and wider (14 x 5 mm). Petals similar to the median sepal, but with 3 obvious veins. Labellum deeply trilobed, pubescent above the base of the lobes: lateral lobes obovate-cuneiform (5 x 5 mm), straight on the internal margins, enlarged on the external margins; median lobe obtriangular, attenuate from the apex to the compressed bane, emarginate apically and provided with a thick apicule, spur thin 4-5 cm long, attenuate from the slightly compressed-pubescent interiorly oriface to the apex. Anther hemispherical (3 mm), verrucose, elongated in front by 2 large (2.5 mm) membranous, obtuse lobes, separated by a deep notch: pollina as is N. hirtula, but with the pollina yellow; staminodes obvious, adnate to the base of the auricles. Column short (2.5 mm), very thick; auricles wide (1 x 1.6 mm), rounded is front, angular behind: the median lobe of the rostellum in the form of a thick rostrum, longer than the auricles; artist slightly above the base of the column, indicated only by the slightly thickened margins of the spur oriface, not lining the margins of the oriface; stigma only semi-inclusive of the spur oriface. Pedicel glabrous, 1.4-1.6 cm long.
Habitat:
Epiphytes of branches; tropical forests: flowering January.
Cultivation:
As given for the genus, hot growing lithophyte.
Notes:
This species is very closely related to N. hirtula, but is differentiated by the form of the sepals, petals and the lobes of the labellum, the spur is longer and the interior is pubescent, the column arms are almost banal and non marginating, the stigma is only semi-included in the spur oriface, and the auricles are of another form.
Distribution:
N. Madagascar
References:
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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