Satyrium lupulinum Lindl., Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl.: 338 (1838).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Satyrium pallidiflorum Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 20(50): 15 (1895).
Plants rather slender, decumbent to erect, the stems (14-) 1 5-25 (-50) cm long, glabrous. Leaves 1 -3, spreading near the soil surface but not pressed upon it, the transition to the sheaths fairly abrupt; longest lamina ovate to broadly ovate, obtuse, 2-8 cm long. Sheaths mostly rather loosely enclosing the stem, usually leaving little of it exposed. Inflorescence rather dense, 3-30 cm long with (6-) 12-20 (-40) flowers. Perianth colour dull yellowish green tinged with dark purple, the column mostly pale green with the rostellum pale straw-coloured. Scent pungent and soapy. Bracts more than twice the length of the 7-12 mm long ovary, strongly deflexed at anthesis, the margins glabrous. Sepals 6-8 mm long, free almost to their bases, strongly recurving along their length, narrowly elliptic-oblong, obtuse, the lateral falcate. Petals with the basal 2/3 forming a loose tube with the sides of the labellum to about half-way along its aperture, the distal third abruptly falcate, crenulate, obtuse. Labellum from the side rather narrower than tall; aperture oval; distal flap semi-circular, about 2 mm high, recurved. Spurs slender, 15-18 mm long, usually lying close to the ovary and stem. Column rather closely fitting the back and base of the galea, with its basal portion scarcely curved and relatively short, 2 mm long. Stigma narrowly oblong, truncate, almost straight, 4 mm long. Rostellum ovate with the upper surface a smooth lamina, the apex spoon-like, curved up towards the labellum aperture, with the minute discoid glands on either side. Staminodes elliptic, above the anther sacs.
It is confined mostly to altitudes of 200 m and below on the coastal flats, although it has been found up to 900 m on mountains near the sea. It may be locally frequent, flowering after fires on south-facing or partly shaded, moist, sandy slopes or flats.
Flowering takes place mostly in the spring months of September and October, rarely as early as August or as late as December.
There are two colour varieties, one with dark brown, the other with tawny yellow flowers. These sometimes grow together, and do not seem to differ otherwise.
The distribution lies mostly in the south-western Cape, with a few scattered records from as far east as Port Elizabeth, a range of about 700 km.
A revision of the southern African species of Satyrium. [A V Hall; Edmund A C L E Schelpe; Nicola C Anthony] 1982; Wild Orchids of Southern Africa Stewart, Linder, Schelpe and Hall 1982; Orchids of Southern Africa Linder & Kurzweil 1999; The Cape Orchids Vol 2 Liltved & Johnson 2012
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Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ
Satyrium lupulinum, 01 Satyrium lupulinum, 02
Photograph© Cameron
McMaster. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Cameron
McMaster. Image used
with kind permission.