AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Satyrium schimperi Hochst. ex A.Rich., Tent. Fl. Abyss. 2: 300 (1850).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Satyrium parviflorum var. schimperi (Hochst. ex A.Rich.) Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 31: 176 (1901)
Description:
Terrestrial herb 15-60 cm high, arising from ellipsoid tubers. Stem erect, leafy. Leaves 5-7, a large pair towards the base of the stem elliptic to elliptic-lanceolate, acute, 4-16 cm long, 2-5 cm wide, the others smaller. Inflorescence a narrowly cylindrical, erect raceme of 9-many flowers each supported by a conspicuous leafy bract; ovary not twisted. Flowers half spreading or horizontal, not resupinate, green or yellowish green; sepals united to the petals and lip in their basal half or third, dorsal sepal oblong-lanceolate, rounded, free part 4-5 mm long; lateral sepals obliquely oblong-oblanceolate, twisted, free part 5 mm long; petals similar to sepals but shorter; lip on upperside of flower, fleshy, hooded, with a narrow mouth, apex shortly recurved, 5-6 mm long, with 2 spurs at the base, spurs slender, 5-8 mm long; column erect and incurved, included within the lip.
Habitat:
Highland grasslands, often among rocks; mainly recorded from western Kenya but also known from the Aberdare Mts; 2330-3200 m; flowering in July to August.
Distribution:
Ethiopia to Angola

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