AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Satyrium outeniquense Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 24: 421 (1897).
Description:
Plants slender, erect, rather small, the stems (10-) 14-22 (-28) cm high. Leaves 2-4, stiffly fleshy, the lowest close to the ground, the upper well above and merging gradually into the sheaths; the longest lamina 1 -4 cm long, curved and spreading from a sheathing base, ovate-acute. Sheaths usually covering most of the stem, the upper with less-spreading apices. Inflorescence rather lax, 2-8 cm long with (2-) 6-1 5 (-20) flowers. Perianth rather small, pale greenish yellow. Scent very pungent, like cloves. Bracts deflexed at anthesis, 1,2-2,6 times the length of the 8-10 mm long ovary, glabrous. Sepals and petals oblong, obtuse, free almost to the base but placed to form a loose tube with the labellum for half their length, then deflexed, the lateral sepals curving partly sideways; the sepals 6-7 mm long, the petals slightly smaller with somewhat crisped margins. Labellum from the front deeper than tall, the aperture of the galea broadly ovate, the apical flap with crisped margins, erect, reflexed at the apex, 2 mm high, ovate, obtuse; the back of the labellum without a dorsel ridge. Spurs 12-16 mm long, lying close to the ovary. Column filling the galea, the curved base 2,5 mm long. Stigma transversely elliptic, truncate, 1,5 mm long. Rostellum 1,5 mm long, deeply keeled, with a small deflexed apical lobe beyond the two subterminal glands. Staminodes as two rounded pulvini above the anther-sacs.
Notes:
Colour of the flowers yellow, with three faint green veins on each segment.
Habitat:
Flowering of Satyrium outeniquense takes place in the early summer months of October and November, occasionally as early as August or as late as December. It grows in rather dry to moist Fynbos on sandy, stony soils, flowering well after fires.
Distribution:
The distribution extends along the mountains and adjacent forelands of the southern Cape, from near George to Humansdorp, a distance of about 200 km. Altitudes range from 160 to a little over 1000 m.

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