AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Satyrium carneum (Aiton) Sims, Bot. Mag. 37: t. 1512 (1812).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Orchis carnea Aiton, Hort. Kew. 3: 294 (1789).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Orchis foliacea Burm.f., Fl. Indica, Prodr. Fl. Cap.: 30 (1768), provisional synonym.
Description:
Plants robust, erect, with stout stems (34-) 37-71 (-80) cm tall arising from broadly bifurcated tubers. Leaves 2-4, the lowest two pressed flat onto the ground, with a gradual transition to the sheaths above; the longest lamina 9-23 cm long, ovate-acute to very broadly ovate obtuse, thick and fleshy. Sheaths 5-9, the lower with spreading apices, the upper rather closely enwrapping the stem. Inflorescence a dense stout spike 6-20 cm long with (14)-19-38-(45) flowers. Perianth pale pink to rose. Scent absent. Bracts green at anthesis, becoming partly deflexed, minutely ciliate, 1,4-2,3 times the length of the 11-18 mm long ovary. Sepals and petals free almost to their bases, recurved to circinnate in their distal y3, the sepals lanceolate-oblong, 13-18 mm long, the median narrower than the lateral; the petals elliptic. Labellum from the front taller than deep, the aperture elliptic-oblong, 12-14 mm high; the apical flap fully reflexed, 2 mm long; back of the labellum with a prominent dorsal ridge from apex to base. Spurs 14-20 mm long, set close to the ovary. Column confined to the back and upper part of the galea, the curved basal portion 9-10 mm long. Stigma 5-8 mm long, narrowly oblong, sometimes exserted from the galea, curved along the same line as the column base. Rostellum 5-6 mm long, oblong with lanceolate glands on either side of a narrowly acute apex. Staminodes as prominent pulvini at the base of the rostellum.
Habitat:
Altitudes are mostly close to sea level, rising occasionally to 150-300 m. The plant is increasingly local and rare among dune-bush vegetation and in fynbos on coastal hills and ridges on moist to dry sands and limestones.
Ecology:
Pollinated by Lesser Double-collared, Orange-breasted and Malachite Sunbirds. Pollinia attach themselves to the bird's beak.
Phenology:
Flowering of Satyrium carneum takes place in the Spring and early Summer months from September to November, rarely as late as December.
Cultivation:
Unlike Satyrium bicorne, Satyrium carneum produces more than one new tuber each year and so is more easily increased. It comes from the winter rainfall area.
Distribution:
Its distribution extends from the coast north of Cape Town to the Cape Peninsula and east to the Riversdale coastline, a distance of about 400 km.
References:
Wild Orchids of Southern Africa Stewart, Linder, Schelpe & Hall 1982; African Orchids in the Wild and Cultivation La Croix 1997; Orchids of Southern Africa Linder & Kurzwell 1999; The Cape Orchids Vol 2 Liltved & Johnson 2012
Images:
Click on each image to see a larger version.

Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ
Satyrium carneum, 01 Satyrium carneum, 02 Satyrium carneum, 03 Satyrium carneum, 04 Satyrium carneum, 05 Satyrium carneum, 06 Satyrium carneum, 07
Photograph© Cameron
McMaster. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Cameron
McMaster. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Cameron
McMaster. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Cameron
McMaster. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Cameron
McMaster. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Cameron
McMaster. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Cameron
McMaster. Image used
with kind permission.