AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Satyrium cristatum var. longilabiatum A.V.Hall, Contr. Bolus Herb. 10: 94 (1982).
Heterotypic Synonyms:

Satyrium ivantalae Rchb.f., Flora 48: 183 (1865).
Description:

Erect, hairless, up to 50 cm high, usually less. Basal leaves two, overlapping one another, erect-spreading, up to 15 cm long x5 cm wide. Stem leaves few, sheathing. Raceme up to 15 cm long, compact, many-flowered; middle bracts c 1,5 cm long, sharp-pointed, turned downwards, basal bracts much larger. Perianth segments all c 8 mm long; back petal hooded with small erect tip, spurs shorter than ovary. Perianth varies much in colour, usually shade of pink, sometimes white with purplish stripes; bracts may also be pink.
Habitat:
Flowering of Satyrium cristatum var. longilabiatum appears to take place mostly slightly earlier than var. cristatum, with a peak in January rather than February or March. The altitude range is mostly between 1000 and 2000 metres, with an outlying low-altitude enclave in the moist coastal hills near Port St. Johns. It favours marshy grassland areas.
Distribution:
The distribution follows the chief centres of the range of var. cristatum, being sympatric but less common than it in most areas. It is absent in the Eastern Cape uplands and in the Orange Free State and western parts of Lesotho and the Transvaal.