AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Oeonia volucris (Thouars) Spreng., Syst. Veg. 3: 727 (1826).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Epidendrum volucre Thouars, Hist. Orchid.: t. 81 (1822).
Aeranthes volucris (Thouars) Rchb.f. in W.G.Walpers, Ann. Bot. Syst. 6: 900 (1864).
Epidorchis volucris (Thouars) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 2: 659 (1891).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Oeonia aubertii Lindl., Bot. Reg. 10: t. 817 (1824).
Oeonia elliotii Rolfe ex Scott-Elliot, J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 29: 55 (1891).
Oeonia humblotii Kraenzl., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 43: 397 (1909).
Description:
Plants with thin branching, very long, climbing or pendent stems. Leaves sparse, distant, oval-oblong (or elliptical of average size 25 x 8 mm) slightly attenuate toward the sheath, acute apically. Inflorescence much longer than the leaves (30-35 cm), very loosely many flowered. Median sepal and petals obovate oblong, 12 mm long, the petals slightly wider and more acute; lateral sepals more elongated, acule and generally two thirds the length of the labellum. Labellum trilobed; the lateral lobes marginal and untwisted, median lobe unguiculate, obcordiform and deeply notched medially, bilobed, the lobes not attenuate toward the base, slightly diverging and with their margins irregular; with a single cusp in the middle of the notch: papillous basally; spur short 16 mm.), gradually attenuate from the oriface to the apex. Column very short: auricles subsquare, with the inferior angles acute and more developed than the flattened superiors: median tongue of the rostellum thick, recurved and pendent, longer than the auricles. Anther provided on the connective with small, obsolete crest, tongue excised and bidentate; pollina with their cauda retracted: retinacles 2, distinct and widely oval.
Habitat:
Epiphytes of branches; in forests from 0-1200 m alt.; flowering: March-July.
Cultivation:
As given for the genus, warm to cool growing epiphyte.
Distribution:
Mascarenes to Madagascar
References:
The Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965; An Introduction to the Cultivated Angraecoid Orchids of Madagascar Hillerman & Holst 1986; Flora of Madagascar Perrier 1939/1981; 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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Habitat/In situ
Oeonia volucris 02
Photograph ©Gilles Grunenwald. Image used with kind permission.

In culture In culture In culture
Oeonia volucris 01 Oeonia volucris  02 Oeonia volucris  03
Photograph ©Gilles Grunenwald. Image used with kind permission. Photograph ©Gilles Grunenwald. Image used with kind permission. Photograph ©Gilles Grunenwald. Image used with kind permission.