AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Disperis anthoceros Rchb.f., Otia Bot. Hamburg.: 103 (1881).
Description:
Tuber 0.7-2.3 cm long, 0.6-1.2 cm in diameter, ovoid-oblong, hairy. Stem 6-30 cm tall, erect. Leaves 2,1.3-5.5 cm long, 1-3.7 cm wide, opposite, sessile, ovate, subacute to apiculate, sheathing at the base, truncate to cordate above, mid to dark green, sometimes tinged with purple below. Inflorescence l-3(7)-flowered. Flowers white tinged greenish or partly pale pinkish, sometimes with purplish marks. Floral bract 6-17 mm long, leaf like, ovate, subacute to acuminate. Ovary and pedicel 13-17 mm long. Hood with slender spur 12-20 mm long. Dorsal sepal up to 20 mm long, linear. Petals of the similar length, falcate-oblong, broadly rounded at the apex, auriculate at the base, ribbed inside. Lateral sepals 6.5-15 mm long, 3-10 mm wide, united to about the middle, obliquely obovate, each with conical, sac-like spur 1-1.5 mm long. Lip with elongate, linear claw 8-15 mm long, recurved at the apex; limb 1-1.5 mm long, appendages reduced to two fimbriate lobules up to 1.5 mm long.
Habitat:
In leaf litter on the floor of evergreen forests, also in moss on rocks in deep shade, often along streams, also in bambooforests, Pinus and Cupressus plantations, or wet Brachystegia woodland, from 600 to 1800 m in southern Africa and from 1100 to 2700 m in tropical Africa.
Phenology:
Flowering mainly in February and March.
Notes:
Verdcourt (in Summerhayes 1968) distinguished two varieties in this species. The typical variety is widely distributed in Africa, while variety grandiflora is restricted to Tanzania only.
Cultivation:
As given for the genus, warm to cold growing semi-terrestrial.
Distribution:
The most widespread species of the genus, found throughout tropical Africa from Sudan and Ethiopia westwards to Nigeria and southwards to the northern provinces of South Africa, and recently also recorded in Madagascar.
References:
Orchidaceae of West-central Africa, vol. 1, Gdansk University Press Gdansk 2010; Flora of Madagascar Perrier 1939/81; Flora of Tropical East Africa Summerhayes 1968; The Orchids of South Central Africa Williamson 1977; Wild Orchids of Southern Africa Stewart, Linder, Schelpe & Hall 1982; Flora Zambesiaca Vol. 11 Part 1 Pope 1995; Orchids of Kenya Stewart 1996; Field Guide to the Ethiopian Orchids Demissew, Cribb & Rasmussen 2004; Orchids of Madagascar Hermans 2007; Field Guide to the Orchids of Northern South Africa and Swaziland McMurty, Grobler, Grobler & Burns 2008; Field Guide to the Orchids of Madagascar Cribb & Herman 2009; Terrestrial African Orchids, A select Review John S. Ball 2009; A synopsis of the genus Disperis Sw. (Orchidaceae), ADANSONIA, sér. 3 - 2005 - 27 (2) : 155-207
Images:
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Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ 
Disperis anthoceras 01  Disperis anthoceras 02
 
Photograph© Warren
McCleland. Image used
with kind permission. 
Photograph© Warren
McCleland. Image used
with kind permission.