AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Disperis nemorosa Rendle, J. Bot. 33: 297 (1895).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Disperis centrocorys Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 53: 549 (1915).
Description:
Terrestrial herb 10–30 cm tall; tubers 1–2.5 × 0.8–1 cm, ovoid or globose. Leaves 2, subopposite, glossy bright green, sessile or with a very short petiole, 2.5–6.5 × 2–4 cm, ovate, sheathing at base. Inflorescence 1–4-flowered.Flowers white or bright magenta-pink with lilac spur, sweetly violet-scented in the evening. Ovary and pedicel 15–20 mm long; bracts leaf-like, of similar length. Dorsal sepal joined with petals to form a slender spur c. 10 mm long from top of ovary to apex of spur, 12 mm long from apex of spur to front margin of dorsal sepal. Lateral sepals projecting forwards in same plane as the spur, 6–8 × 4–5 mm, obliquely oblong, obtuse, almost free, each with small sac 1–1.5 mm long. Petals adnate to dorsal sepal, auriculate at base. Lip with a slender claw 9–12 mm long, reaching the spur apex, then doubled back for 1.5–2 mm, with a long appendage arising at the point of reflexion and reaching the open end of the spur. Appendage linear-oblanceolate, growing wider towards bifid apex, with pair of obtuse lobes c. 1 mm long just before the apex.
Habitat:
Deep shade in forest, often near streams c. 2000 m.
Distribution:
E. & S. Trop. Africa