Satyrium crassicaule Rendle, J. Bot. 33: 295 (1895).
Satyrium niloticum Rendle, J. Bot. 33: 296 (1895).
Satyrium fischerianum Kraenzl., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 24: 507 (1898).
Satyrium goetzenianum Kraenzl., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 24: 506 (1898).
Satyrium kirkii Rolfe in D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 7: 271 (1898).
Satyrium mystacinum Kraenzl., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 24: 506 (1898).
Satyrium usambarae Kraenzl., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 33: 56 (1902).
A terrestrial herb 3-12 dm. high, glabrous except for the roots; rootstock short and thick; roots numerous, in a dense tuft, slender, pubescent. Stem erect, slender to robust, up to 1.5 cm. in diameter at the base, terete, leafy along its entire length. Leaves 8-13; lower ones spreading or somewhat erect, in a tuft, broadly lanceolate to ligulate or narrowly ligulate, up to 8-48 cm. long and 2-5(-7.5) cm. broad, the upper 3-5 smaller, sheath-like, adpressed to the stem, lanceolate, acute. Inflorescence cylindrical, 5-37 cm. long, 2-3.5 cm. in diameter, densely many-flowered; bracts usually reflexed, lanceolate, acute, 1-2.5(-4) cm. long, the lower ones often longer than the flowers. Flowers spreading or curved outwards, pink to mauve or rarely white; pedicel with ovary curved, ± 1 cm. long. Sepals and petals projecting forwards or somewhat decurved, united to one another and to the lip in their basal third; intermediate sepal narrowly oblanceolate-elliptical, obtuse, 4.5-8 mm. long, 1.5-2.5 mm. broad; laterals obliquely oblong-elliptical, very obtuse, equalling the intermediate but a little broader. Petals similar to the intermediate sepal, 4-7 mm. long, ± 1.5 mm. broad; all tepals 2-3-veined. Lip very convex and hooded with a shortly pointed apex and a rather broad mouth, 5-7.5 mm. long and rather broader when spread out, 2-spurred at base; spurs slender, parallel to the ovary, 8-13 mm. long, 1-1.5 mm. in diameter at the base. Column enclosed in the lip, 3-5 mm. high, the slightly curved stalk equalling the fertile part; anther-loculi pendent, ellipsoid; stigma erect, semi-orbicular, ± I mm. high and 1-5-2 mm. broad, rostellum projecting forwards, 3-lobed, the side lobes short, tooth-like, incurved, the middle lobe much larger, spoon-shaped from a narrow base.
Damp grasslands or swamps especially by streams, sometimes in running water, grasslands at edge of or in glades, Papyrus spp. swamps at edge of lakes, in montane or bamboo forests. Alt. 1050-3150 m.
Flowering from February, May-July, November.
As given for the genus, cool to cold growing terrestrial.
Nigeria, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire), Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, Angola, Zambia, Malawi.
Orchidaceae of West-central Africa, vol. 1, Gdansk University Press Gdansk 2010, Orchids of East Africa Piers 1968; Flora of Tropical East Africa Orchidaceae Part 1 Summerhayes 1968; The Orchids of South Central Africa Williamson 1977; Flora Zambesiaca Vol. 11 Part 1 Orchidaceae Pope 1995; Orchids of Kenya Stewart & Campbell 1996; Field Guide to the Ethiopian Orchids Demissew, Cribb & Rassmussen 2004
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