AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Satyrium orbiculare Rolfe in D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 7: 266 (1898).
Description:

Terrestrial herb 15–35 cm high; tubers 6–22 × 5–8 mm, almost globose to ellipsoid-fusiform, densely tomentose. Basal leaves 2, appressed to the ground, 3–4 × 4–6 cm, orbicular to reniform; stem with 4–7 loosely sheathing leaves up to 3 cm long. Inflorescence 5–7 × 1.3–2.3 cm, fairly densely several- to many-flowered. Flowers bright orange-red, the spurs paler at tips. Pedicel and ovary 6–8 mm long; bracts reflexed, 15 mm long at base of inflorescence. Sepals and petals spreading or slightly decurved, joined to each other and lip for c. 1 mm at base. Median sepal 7–8.5 × 2–3 mm, oblanceolate; lateral sepals 6–8 × 4 mm, obliquely ovate, obtuse. Petals 5–7.5 × 2.5 mm, oblanceolate. Lip 6–7 mm long, very convex, wide-mouthed with a dorsal keel. Spurs 9–10 mm long, slender, parallel to ovary. Column c. 5 mm high; stigma 1 × 2 mm; rostellum mid-lobe about twice as long as side lobes.
Habitat:

Montane grassland, woodland 1650–2200 m.
Distribution:

Tanzania to Zambia

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