Satyrium coriifolium Sw., Kongl. Vetensk. Acad. Nya Handl. 21: 216 (1800).
Diplecthrum coriifolium (Sw.) Pers., Syn. Pl. 2: 509 (1807).
Orchis bicornis L., Sp. Pl. ed. 2: 1330 (1763), nom. illeg.
Orchis calcarata Burm.f., Fl. Indica, Prodr. Fl. Cap.: 30 (1768), provisional synonym.
Orchis cornuta Houtt., Handl. Pl.-Kruidk. 12: 456 (1780), nom. illeg.
Diplecthrum erectum Pers., Syn. Pl. 2: 509 (1807).
Satyrium cucullatum Lodd., Bot. Cab. 2: t. 104 (1818), nom. nud.
Satyrium chrysostachyum Herschel, Edwards's Bot. Reg. 24(Misc.): 84 (1838).
Satyrium erectum (Pers.) Lindl., Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl.: 340 (1838).
Satyrium aureum Paxton, Paxton's Mag. Bot. 15: 31 (1849).
Plants with a stiffly erect habit with stout, rarely somewhat slender, glabrous stems (18-) 23-48 (-77) cm high. Leaves 2-4, near the base of the plant but standing away from the soil surface, erect to partly spreading, purple-spotted towards the sheathing leaf-bases, the laminae stiffly leathery, the longest lamina 3-15 cm long, elliptic to ovate, acute. Transition from leaves to sheaths rather abrupt. Sheaths fairly tightly enclosing the stem, leaving usually small portions of it exposed between them. Inflorescence with the flowers rather closely packed against the stem, 3-30 cm long, with (4-) 7-20 (-42) flowers. Perianth colour bright yellow to bright orange often tinged darker with red on the labellum, the lower connate parts of the petals often lined purple along the margins, the column pale cream. Scent absent to faintly soapy-pungent. Bracts fully deflexed at anthesis, 1,7-3,3 times the length of the 10-14 mm long ovary, 7-16 mm broad, very minutely ciliolate. Sepals and petals connate in the basal 1/4-1/3; lateral sepals 7-13 mm long, narrowly oblong, obtuse, reflexed to almost the sides of the ovary; odd sepal narrowly elliptic-oblong, obtuse, similarly reflexed. Petals narrower but about as long as the sepals, the free portion at first often forming a loose tube with the sides of the labellum, then spreading at its mouth. Labellum from the side as tall as broad, the adaxial ridge along the midnerve about 1 mm high; the aperture narrowly oblong; the apical portion usually prominently nodding, terminated by a broad, obtuse apical reflexed flap. Spurs 9-12 mm long, slender throughout, lying close to the ovary, continuing the curve of the back of the labellum. Column fitting closely into the back and roof of the galea leaving a large space beneath the rostellum; the basal curved portion 6-8 mm long. Stigma erect to partly hooded over the rostellum, very broadly oblong-truncate, about 2 mm long. Rostellum about 4 mm long, the subterminal glands large and obliquely nearly semi-circular, when removed leaving the apex with three prominent narrow teeth. Staminodes as irrigular pulvini at the base of the anther-sacs.
The altitudinal range is limited mostly to coastal flats and forelands up to about 300 m, occasionally up to 750 m. In its most common habitat, sandy, moist, open flats, it may be locally frequent, forming colonies of 80 or more plants. Natural abundance is today hard to judge as the species has been extensively picked by flower-collectors, against whose depradations it is now protected by law. The chief variation among and within populations is in flower colour, which ranges from a bright yellow to a deep, red-tinted orange.
Flowering is mostly in the spring and early summer months from August to October, occasionally in November and rarely in December.
Read more of cultivation of Satyrium coriifolium Sw.,
The distribution extends from the south-western Cape, when it has been fairly plentiful in some areas, through scattered localities eastward to Grahamstown, a range of about 800 km.
Hamilton, R. 1988. When does it flower? 2nd ed. Robert M. Hamilton, 9211 Beckwith Road, Richmond, B. C., Canada V6X 1V7. Hawkes, A. (1965) 1987. Encyclopaedia of cultivated orchids. Faber and Faber, London. Kew Data Base. 2009. http.//apps.kew.org/wcsp/home.do la Croix, I. 2008. The New Encyclopedia of Orchids. Timber Press, Portland, OR. la Croix, I. and E. la Croix. 1997. African orchids in the wild and in cultivation. Timber Press, Portland, OR.; A revision of the southern African species of Satyrium. (A V Hall; Edmund A C L E Schelpe; Nicola C Anthony)
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