AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Satyrium anomalum Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 24: 424 (1897).
Heterotypic Synonyms:

Satyrium minax Rolfe in D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 7: 268 (1898).
Description:

Terrestrial herb 40–100 cm high; tubers to 5.5 cm long, globose, ellipsoid or fusiform. Sterile shoot 3–4-leaved; the lowermost 1–2 leaves sheathing; upper leaves 12–27 × 3–6 cm, elliptic or lanceolate. Flowering stem with c. 10 sheathing leaves up to 10 cm long. Inflorescence 12–48 × 2.5–5 cm, cylindrical, densely many-flowered. Flowers lilac with darker spurs or greenish-white; rhachis and ovary purple. Ovary 10 mm long; bracts green with purple edge, reflexed, to 30 mm long at base of inflorescence, lanceolate, acute.Sepals and petals curled under, joined for about half their length to each other and lip. Sepals 4.5–5.5 × 1–2 mm, oblanceolate, obtuse, the median narrower than the laterals. Petals 4–5 × 0.5 mm, ciliolate. Lip thick-textured with a narrow mouth, 5–7 mm long, ellipsoid, forming a hood; spurs 8–11 mm long curving upwards and diverging from each other. Column c. 4 mm high; stigma 1.5 × 1.5 mm; rostellum mid-lobe spoon-shaped from a narrow base, much longer than side lobes.
Habitat:

In Julbernardia and Brachystegia woodland 1050–1570 m.
Distribution:

Tanzania to S. Trop. Africa

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