AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Disperis breviloba Verdc., Kew Bull. 32: 9 (1977).
Description:
Terrestrial herb 8–16 cm tall, the entire plant usually purple-red or pink, sometimes greenish; tuber 7 mm long, ellipsoid. Stem erect, purple-brown at the apex, purplish at the base, glabrous or slightly papillate, leafless apart from 2–3 sheath-like basal cataphylls 5–12 mm long. Inflorescence 1–2(3)-flowered. Spur green-brown at the apex, lilac at the base; sepals and petals pinkish, the sepals red inside. Pedicel 3–4 mm long; ovary 6 mm long, green-brown, slightly papillose; bracts 4.5–8 × 3–4 mm, green. Dorsal sepal joined to the petals to form an obtuse, conical spur 7 mm long and 3.7 mm wide at the base. Lateral sepals free, 3.5–4 × 1.5–2.2 mm, irregularly oblong with the outer edge rounded, lacking spurs. Petals 3–3.5 × 1.5–2 mm, irregularly oblong. Lip white, claw 2.5 × 0.2–0.4 mm, lip apex produced for 0.4 mm beyond the point of attachment of the appendage; appendage 5 × 0.4 mm, linear, translucent, shortly 2-lobed at the apex with lobes 0.3–0.6 mm long, rugulose. Anther 1.7 mm long; rostellum mid-lobe 1.5–2 × 1.5–2 mm, side arms 2 × 1.5 mm, incurved.
Habitat:
Brachystegia woodland, open dambo and montane grassland, usually in shallow soil over rocks 1200–2340 m.
Phenology:
Flowering from December to February.
Cultivation:
As given for the genus.
Distribution:
Zambia and Malawi
References:
A synopsis of the genus Disperis Sw. (Orchidaceae), ADANSONIA, sér. 3 - 2005 - 27 (2) : 155-207; A New Species of Disperis (Orchidaceae) from Zambia, January 1977 Kew Bulletin 32(1):9
Images:
Click on each image to see a larger version.

Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ 
Disperis breviloba 01  Disperis breviloba 02  Disperis breviloba 03 
Photograph© Nicholas
Case Wightman Image
used with kind
permission.
 
Photograph© Nicholas
Case Wightman Image
used with kind
permission.
 
Photograph© Nicholas
Case Wightman Image
used with kind
permission.