AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Satyrium neglectum subsp. neglectum
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Satyrium densum Rolfe in D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 7: 270 (1898).
Satyrium colliferum Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 53: 528 (1915).
Description:
Plants slender, erect, the flowering stems (20-) 38-81 (-107) cm tall. Leaves usually 2, rarely 1 or 3, borne on a separate shoot next to the flowering stem; nearly erect to partly spreading (more so in smaller plants); the longest lamina 4-32 cm long, ovate to lanceolate-oblong, acute. Sheaths rather closely set against the stem, the apices usually partly spreading, leaving little or none of the stem exposed. Inflorescence slender, dense, 1,5-2,0 cm in diameter and 10-51 cm long with (11 -) 17-79 (-110) rather small flowers. Perianth pink to deep rose, rarely pale cream dusted with pale claret, yellow-green and reddish, or pale pink and bright mauve. Scent rather strong and sweet. Bracts minutely ciliate, becoming deflexed 4-5 mm from their bases, lanceolate, 1,3-3,3 times the length of the 8-12 mm long, curved ovary. Sepals and petals fused with the labellum for 1/3 of their length, forming a loose tube by association for the following third, then curved away, the side sepals curving laterally from the galea; the sepals 7-10 mm long, elliptic; the petals obovate, often ciliate. Labellum from the front about 3 times deeper than tall; the apical flap glabrous, 2 mm high, erect, slightly crisped, subquadrate; galea aperture 3-4 mm tall; back of the labellum with a narrow dorsal ridge more prominent near the spurs. Spurs 6-9 mm long, set close to the ovary and stem. Column extending the full length of the galea and filling most of its aperture, the slightly curved basal part 5-6 mm long. Stigma transversely oblong to subquadrate, about 1 mm long. Rostellum often emergent from the galea, 1-2 mm long, oblong, deeply keeled, channelled above, the channel deeper distally between the lateral glands, passing to the deflexed, semi-orbicular apical lobe. Staminodes as minute pulvini above the anther sacs.
Habitat:
Flowering of Satyrium neglectum ssp. neglectum takes place in the midsummer months from January to March, rarely as early as October or as late as April. In Southern Africa the altitudes of its localities range from 900 to nearly 3 000 m, more commonly 1 200-1 600 m. It is occasional and rather local in open to sheltered places in grassland on usually moist slopes.
Distribution:
Its distribution extends from the W. Transkei uplands through the Natal Drakensberg, Swaziland and the E. and N. Transvaal highlands. Further north, it extends through higher altitudes in E. Zimbabwe to Malawi and Tanzania.

Images:
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Botanical Drawing / Herbarium
Satyriumneglectumvar.neglectum
Photograph copyright Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium Jany Renz Image used with kind permission.