AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Oeonia curvata Bosser in Adansonia22 (2): 231 (2000).
Description:
Long-stemmed epiphytic plants wit unbranched roots. Leaves leathery, ovate, unequally bilobed at the apex, about 2 cm long and 1 cm broad; leaf sheaths persistent, shorter than the internodes. Inflorescences 1-2-flowered, arising at the base of the leaf sheaths. Peduncle stout, obliquely erect, 5-7 cm long; floral bracts broadly ovate, obtuse, 3-4 mm long. Flowers white. Dorsal sepal spathulate, the apex acute, 10 x 5 mm; lateral sepals similar but slightly narrower. Petals narrowly ovate, spathulate, acute, 10-12 x 3 mm. Lip 25 mm long and broad, four-lobed; side lobes broad, erect, rounded, the margins undulate; terminal lobes smaller and narrower, falcate, the apices truncate, separated by a narrow sinus; base of lip funnel- shaped, prolonged into a cylindrical spur 13-15 mm long, slender, curved, the tip obtuse. Column 2 mm long; anther hemispherical, truncate in front.
Notes:
This rare and little-known species resembles Oeonia madagascariensis in the shape of the spur but differs in the falcate terminal lip lobes separated by a narrow sinus and in the shape of the anther, which is hemispherical and truncate in front (in Oeonia madagascariensis, the anther has a bilobed projection on the apex).
Habitat:
Grows in mid-altitude forest, between 1,200 and 1,400 m. Apparently it has only been collected once, in the Ranomafana National Park.
Cultivation:
As given for the genus, cool growing epiphyte.
Distribution:
Endemic to Madagascar
References:
Field Guide to the Orchids of Mdagascar Cribb & Hermans 2009; WCSP (2017). 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 09.03-2017; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
Images:
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Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ
Oeonia curvata 03 Oeonia curvata 04
Photograph ©Gilles Grunenwald. Image used with kind permission. Photograph ©Gilles Grunenwald. Image used with kind permission.