AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Brownleea galpinii subsp. galpinii
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Brownleea flavescens Schltr., Ann. Transvaal Mus. 10: 249 (1924).
Description:
Terrestrial herb perennating by testicular tubers. Basal sheaths 2, the inner 5–10(14) cm long, ribbed, mottled with small mucronate patches. Leaves 2(4), erect to semi-erect, conduplicate, bases sheathing; blades to 6–20 cm long, linear, ribs prominent beneath, upper leaf much smaller than the lower leaf. Inflorescence capitate, often secund, 15–25 × 10–30 mm, 5–25-flowered.Floral bracts somewhat longer than the ovaries, lanceolate, acuminate. Flowers white to cream, often with small purple spots on the petals. Dorsal sepal galeate; galea erect, 5–8 mm tall and c. 2 mm deep, narrowly ovate to lanceolate, acuminate. Spur straight, parallel to the ovary, slender, 3.5–6 mm long, cylindrical. Lateral sepals suboblique, 6–7 mm long, narrowly elliptic, acute. Petals almost as tall as the galea, narrowly oblong-pandurate, erect. Lip minute, erect, 0.8–1.3 mm long. Rostellum erect, c. 3 mm tall; lateral lobes canaliculate; staminodes c. 1 mm in diameter. Anther deflexed with the apex up-curved. Stigma sessile at the base of the rostellum. Ovary c. 1 cm long.
Notes:
Subsp. major (Bolus) H.P. Linder is restricted to South Africa and Lesotho, where it occurs at higher altitudes. It is distinguished from the typical subspecies by the larger flowers (lateral sepals (6.5)8–10 mm) and the fan-like, crenulate upper petal lobe.
Habitat:
Occasional in montane grassland
Distribution:
Zimbabwe, Northern Prov., KwaZulu-Natal
References:
Ball, J.S. (2009). Terrestrial African Orchids, A Selected Review; La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1995). Orchidaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 11(1); Linder, H.P. (1981). Taxonomic studies on the Disinae: A revision of the genus Brownleea Lindl. Journal of South African Botany 47(1); Linder, H.P. & Kurzweil, H. (1999). Orchids of Southern Africa A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Images:
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Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ 
brownleea galpinii bolus subsp. galpinii 02  brownleea galpinii bolus subsp. galpinii 03 
Photograph©Bart
Wursten. Image used
with kind permission. 
Photograph©Bart
Wursten. Image used
with kind permission.