AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Satyrium volkensii Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 24: 425 (1897).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Satyrium trachypetalum Kraenzl., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 24: 505 (1898).
Satyrium leptopetalum Kraenzl., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 36: 119 (1905).
Satyrium dizygoceras Summerh., Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1932: 508 (1932).
Description:
A terrestrial herb 2-11 dm. high, mostly glabrous; tubers globose to fusiform-cylindrical, 1-4.5 cm. long, 7-22 mm. in diameter, ± tomentose; roots slender, flexuous, pubescent. Sterile stem to 5 cm. long, 3-4-leaved; lower 1-2 leaves short, sheath-like, obtuse, the upper 1-3 lanceolate to oblong-elliptical, acute, up to 5-13 cm. long and 2-6 cm. broad. Fertile stem erect, slender to stout, covered by sheathing leaves; sheaths 8-13(-15), lanceolate, acute, up to 2.5-11 cm. long and 1-3 cm. broad. Inflorescence narrowly cylindrical, (5-)10-42 cm. long, 1.5-2.5 cm. in diameter, loosely to densely many-flowered; bracts reflexed, lanceolate, acute, 1-2.5 cm. long. Flowers curved outwards, sessile, green to yellow-green, sometimes tinged purplish or brownish; ovary 5-10 mm. long. Sepals and petals decurved, united to one another and to the lip in their lower third or half; intermediate sepal oblanceolate, rounded, 3.5-5.5 mm. long, scarcely I mm. broad; laterals much twisted, obliquely and curved elliptical-oblong, obtuse, 4-6.5 mm. long, ± 1.5 mm. broad. Petals oblanceolate, rounded, 3-4.-5 mm. long, 0.5 mm. broad, pubescent and ciliolate. Lip ellipsoid, much hooded, the apex shortly recurved, 4-5.5 mm. long; spurs rather straggling, very slender, 11-23 mm. long, 2 very short additional spurs often present. Column inside lip, much curved, 3-5 mm. high; stigma orbicular or broader than high, 1-2 mm. high, rostellum deflexed, 3-lobed, 1.5 mm. long, the side lobes small, triangular, the middle lobe much longer, broadly spoon-shaped from a narrow base.
Habitat:
Brachystegia and mixed woodland, grassland with scattered bushes, montane grassland and dambo margins Alt.1200–2400 m.
Cultivation:
As given for the genus.
Distribution:
Nigeria, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire), Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe.
References:
Orchidaceae of West-central Africa, vol. 1, Gdansk University Press Gdansk 2010; Flora of Tropical East Africa Summerhayes Orchidaceae Part 1 1968
Images:
Click on each image to see a larger version.

Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ 
Satyrium volkensii  01  Satyrium volkensii 02  Satyrium volkensii 03  Satyrium volkensii  04 
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.
 
Photograph© Nicholas Case
Wightman Image used with kind
permission.