AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Zeuxine africana Rchb.f., Flora 50: 103 (1867).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Zeuxine cochlearis Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 20(50): 11 (1895).
Description:
A herb with a sometimes creeping rhizome and tbick brownhairy roots, for the rest quite glabrous; stem erect terete leafy, scaly at base, 5-30 cm. high; leaves erect-spreading linearlanceolate acute, amplexicaul and sheathing at base, netted-veined when dry, 2-4 times longer than the internodes, 2-5 cm. long; spike oblong or narrow ovate, densely many-fl., 1-5-2-5 cm. long, bracts acuminate longer than the flowers; flowers somewhat bent downwards, about 2-5-3 mill, long; sepals connivent ovate-lanceolate subobtuse, the odd one more concave and slightly gibbous at the base ; petals semi-ovate, the exterior margin undulate; lip somewhat fleshy spoon-shaped inflated at base, rather widened at the apex, margins incurved undulate and irregularly crenulate, furnished at the base within with 2 parallel linear ridges; anther rounded ; rostellum bipartite, the segments subulate acuminate; pollinia pear-shaped, stipes strap-shaped dilated towards the apex; gland very small.
Notes:
Colour of sepals and petals white, the lip golden yellow.
Habitat:
Moist sand in grassland; in mud in shade.
Distribution:
Nigeria, Angola, S. Africa

Images:
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Botanical Drawing / Herbarium
zeuxine africana
Photograph copyright Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium Jany Renz Image used with kind permission.