AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Satyrium rhynchanthoides Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 53: 529 (1915).
Description:
A terrestrial herb 0.7-3 dm. high, glabrous except for the roots; tubers globose to ellipsoid or conical-fusiform, 6-32 mm. long, 5-14 mm. in diameter, ± densely tomentose; roots slender, flexuous, pubescent. Stem erect, sometimes flexuous, rather slender, leafy. Leaves 4-6; 1 or 2 lowest reduced to sheaths, acute, 2-3 intermediate ± spreading or suberect, lanceolate or oblong-lanceolate to broadly elliptical or elliptical-ovate, acute, up to 2-5-4 cm. long and 1.3-3.2 cm. broad, upper 1 or 2 smaller, adpressed to the stem, lanceolate, acute, often resembling the lower bracts. Inflorescence cylindrical, 2.5-13 cm. long, 2.5-3 cm. in diameter, rather loosely 3-25-flowered; bracts erect, lanceolate or ovate-lanceolate, acute, 6-20 mm. long, the lower ones sometimes longer than the flowers. Flowers spreading or half-spreading, pale pink to lilac or pale mauve; pedicel with ovary curved, slender, 8-11 mm. long. Sepals and petals spreading forwards or slightly decurved, united with one another and to the lip in their basal third or quarter; intermediate sepal oblong-oblanceolate, obtuse or rounded, 8-9.5 mm. long, nearly 2 mm. broad; laterals obliquely oblanceolate-elliptical, rounded at apex, slightly shorter than the intermediate, ± 3 mm. broad. Petals obliquely subspathulate-oblong, truncate at apex, 7.5-9.5 mm. long, 1.5-2 mm. broad; all tepals 2-3-veined. Lip very convex, hooded, ± 7 mm. long, 5-6 mm. broad when spread out; spurs basal, much curved, diverging from ovary at base but decurved towards apex, slender, 5-8 mm. long, 1-2 mm. in diameter at base. Column erect, enclosed in lip, the stalk slender, longer than the fertile part, altogether 5 mm. long; anther-loculi dependent, ellipsoid; stigma erect, broadly semi-orbicular, I mm. high, 1-5 mm. broad, rostellum broad, equally 3-toothed, the middle tooth bifid.
Habitat:
Submontane grassland, high rainfall woodland, usually on rocky outcrops 1700–2200 m.
Cultivation:
As given for the genus, cool to cold growing terrestrial.
Distribution:
Tanzania to Zambia
References:
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
satyrium rhyncantoides 01 satyrium rhycantoides 02
Photograph© Margaret
Westrop. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Margaret
Westrop. Image used
with kind permission.