AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Brownleea mulanjiensis H.P.Linder, Kew Bull. 40: 125 (1985).
Description:
Terrestrial herb perennating by testicular tubers. Plants erect, to 50 cm tall, slender, somewhat flexuose. Basal sheaths 2, the outer to c. 3 cm long, hyaline; the inner to 10 cm long, scabrid to shortly pilose, dark-brown or black. Leaves 1–2, shortly sheathing; blade erect, to 12 × 2 cm, narrowly lanceolate, acute, veins prominent. Inflorescence a dense spike to 5 cm long, many-flowered. Floral bracts as long as or longer than the ovaries, narrowly lanceolate, acuminate. Flowers resupinate, lilac or pale mauve. Dorsal sepal galeate; galea 5–6 mm long, falcate in side view. Spur horizontal at its base, straight or gently down-curved, 3.5–4.5 mm long, cylindrical. Lateral sepals patent, oblique, 3–5 mm long, narrowly oblong, acute. Petals 4.5–5.5 × 3–4 mm, oblong, somewhat falcate, fused to the dorsal sepal, the upper margin somewhat crenate. Lip minute, 2–3 mm long. Rostellum c. 1.5 mm tall; lateral lobes erect, adjacent, canaliculate, flanked by two large staminodes. Anther reflexed with an up-curved apex; stigma sessile at the base of the rostellum. Ovary c. 1 cm long.
Notes:
This species is closely related to Brownleea galpinii, both species having crenate petals and papillate lateral sepals. They are, however, distinguished by the inflorescence shape.
Habitat:

Montane grassland and rocky heathland 2100–2400 m.
Distribution:

Malawi.