Satyrium bicorne (L.) Thunb., Prodr. Pl. Cap.: 6 (1794).
Orchis bicornis L., Pl. Rar. Afr.: 26 (1760).
Satyrium cucullatum Sw., Kongl. Vetensk. Acad. Nya Handl. 21: 216 (1800).
Diplecthrum cucullatum (Sw.) Pers., Syn. Pl. 2: 508 (1807).
Diplecthrum cuculliflorum Salisb., Trans. Hort. Soc. London 1: 287 (1812), nom. superfl.
Plants rather slender, erect, the stems (14-) 19-38 (-61) cm high. Leaves usually 2. seldom 1, pressed flat onto the ground, with an abrupt transition to the sheaths above; the leaf lamina broadly ovate to rotund, 3-1 8 cm long. Sheaths loosely clasping the stem and usually covering most of it, each smoothly cupshaped with the free portion weakly developed. Inflorescence with the flowers dense to well-spaced in a 3-30 cm long spike with about 4-40 flowers. Perianth outside and inside pale greenish yellow, tinged purple-brown faintly to darkly to almost black. Scent rather strong, soapy and sweet. Bracts deflexed at anthesis, very minutely ciliate, 1,4-2,4 times the length of the 6-14 mm long, deeply ridged ovary. Sepals and petals united with the labellum to form a tube for 1/3-1/2 their length, then together rather abruptly deflexed, oblong, obtuse; the sepals 6-9 mm long, the petals slightly shorter. Labellum from the side about as tall as broad and tapering to an acute apex, representing a partly developed, nonreflexed apical flap; the aperture usually narrower than the galea, sloping away from the stem and giving the flowers a nodding appearance, oval to ovate. Spurs 10-22 mm long, lying close to the ovary and stem. Column filling most of the galea and well enclosed by it, the curved basal part 3-4 mm long. Stigma 2-3 mm long, oblong, straight to slightly curved, truncate to emarginate. Rostellum slightly longer than the stigma, oblong, flat above, the keel below produced into a small apical lobe beyond the minute sub-terminal glands. Staminodes as narrowly deltoid pulvini at the rostellum base.
Altitudes range from near sea level to over 1 200 m in the Cedarberg, but mostly from 200 to 500 m. It is a plant of sandy soils, sometimes peaty and marshy. It grows in open to partly sheltered places among bushes.
Flowering of Satyrium bicorne takes place in the Spring months of September and October, rarely as late as December, flowers well after fires.
The distribution extends from Kamieskroon in Namaqualand to near Knysna in the southern Cape.
A revision of the southern African species of Satyrium. [A V Hall; Edmund A C L E Schelpe; Nicola C Anthony] 1982;
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