AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Satyrium pallens S.D.Johnson & Kurzweil, Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 127: 191 (1998).
Description.

Plant up to 500 mm tall; basal leaves two, fleshy ovate-elliptic, up to 100 mm in length, appressed flat onto the ground; cauline leaves conical, close to stem. Bracts deflexed at anthesis, 10–20, 4–6 mm. Flower Colour white, sometimes diffused with pale pink, no markings. Scent sweet, pronounced during the evening. Sepals fused with petals at the base, obovate, apex rounded, 10–15, 2–4 mm. Petals similar to sepals. Labellum galeate, erect, aperture ovate, 10–12, 8–9 mm, 3–4 mm deep, apical flap 2–3mm long, apex rounded, spurs 19–22 mm, pendent from base to galea, exceeding the ovary in length. Column 7–9 mm long. Stigma about 2´3.5 mm. Rostellum unlobed, truncate with adjacent flattened viscidia. Ovary 8–10mm long at anthesis.
Etymology:

The name refers to the white or very pale pink flowers.
Habitat:

Rocky south-facing slopes in dry fynbos and Karoo vegetation. Flowering time. October.
Distribution:

Western Cape Prov.