AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Satyrium hallackii subsp. hallackii
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Satyrium foliosum Lindl., Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl.: 336 (1838).
Satyrium foliosum var. helonioides Lindl., Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl.: 337 (1838).
Description:
Plants generally rather stout and fleshy, the stems glabrous, (19-) 30-54 (-62) cm high. Leaves 4-6, partly erect, with a gradual transition to the sheaths; the longest lamina 7-20 cm long, narrowly oblong to elliptic-oblong, mostly strongly V-shaped in cross-section, acute. Sheaths broad, loosely enclosing the stem and usually leaving none of its surface exposed. Inflorescence dense, 3-18 cm long with (6-) 20-50 (-70) flowers. Perianth colour pink to deep pink. Scent faint, soapy-sweet. Bracts slightly to partly deflexed, 1 -3 times the length of the 9-12 mm long ovary, the margins glabrous. Sepals 6,5-9,5 mm long, connate with the petals and the sides of the labellum in their lower quarter; lateral sepals elliptic, obtuse; odd sepal narrowly elliptic; petals similar, like the other segments distally partly recurving. Labellum with the sides of the galea extended so that the lower margins are broadly semi-orbicular; the galea from the side about as tall as broad, rather shorter than the sepals and petals; abaxial ridge on the mid-nerve prominent, up to 0,7 mm high; aperture rotund to depressed-ovate; apical flap deltoid, obtuse, reflexed, 1 mm high. Spurs slender from a shortly conical base, 7-14 mm long, lying fairly close to the ovary and stem. Column lying in the back and upper parts of the galea, leaving most of its volume clear for entry to the spurs; the basal portion slender, curved distally, 4-5 mm long. Sigma less than 1 mm high, very broadly oblong. Rostellum longer than the stigma, about 1,5 mm long, with minute lateral lobes, the distal median channel passing between the lateral, discoid glands, down the deflexed, narrowly deltoid acute apex. Staminodes forming ovate pulvini at the bases of the anther sacs.
Habitat:
Flowering of Satyrium hallackii ssp hallackii takes place in the summer months of December and January, rarely as early as September or as late as February. It inhabits moist and sometimes brak soils just inland from the shoreline; details of the inland habitats are not known, except that they are at about 550 to 600 m altitude.
Distribution:
Cape Prov.