AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Satyrium longicolle Lindl., Gen. Sp. Orch. Pl. 335 (1838)
Heterotypic Synonyms:

Satyrium maculatum Burch. ex Lindl., Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl.: 337 (1838), nom. illeg.
Description:

Plants rather stout to slender, erect, the stems (11-) 16-32 (-43) cm tall. Leaves two, both pressed flat onto the ground, with an abrupt transition to the sheaths above; the longest lamina 2-11 cm long, fleshy, broadly ovate to rotund, obtuse to subacute. Sheaths closely set around the stem, leaving none or little of it exposed between them, the apices of usually only the lower sheaths slightly spreading. Inflorescence 4-7 cm in diameter, 4-22 cm long, with (3-) 10-26 (-38) rather slender flowers. Perianth pale pink to ivory white; dark purple along the mid-nerves of the petals and sepals, also in lines within the entrance to the galea, the anther sacs dark purple. Scent faint and sweet. Bracts with glabrous margins, fully deflexed at anthesis, 1,4-1,9 times the length of the 10-21 mm long, straight and slender ovary. Sepals and petals fused for 1/3 of their length to the sides of the labellum, then decurved; the sepals elliptic to narrowly oblong, obtuse, 10-13 mm long; the petals slightly smaller, narrowly ovate to narrowly oblong, obtuse. Labellum from the front 2-4 times taller than deep, the aperture obovate to narrowly oblong; the apical flap absent to partly differentiated and slightly reflexed, 2-3 mm high; back of the labellum with a fairly prominent dorsal ridge from near the apex to the spur-bases. Spurs longer than the ovary, 19-30 mm long, tapering smoothly from the base of the galea, set closely to the ovary and the stem. Column filling part of the back of the galea, the basal portion straight, 5-7 mm long. Stigma transversely broadly elliptic, obtuse to emarginate, 2 mm high. Rostellum 2 mm long, broadly oblong with a shallow median channel above and weakly keeled below, with two discoid glands adjacent on the truncate apex. Connective continuing to half-way around the base of the anther sacs. Staminodes as oblong pulvini above the anther sacs.
Habitat:
Flowering of Satyrium iongicollexakes place in the early Summer months of October and December, rarely as early as September. Altitudes range from near sea levei to about 760 m. The plant is rather local, rare to locally common, on damp slopes often in peaty moist soils, flowering chiefly after fires.
Distribution:
Its distribution extends from near Riversdale through the coastal forelands and mountains of the southern Cape to Port Elizabeth and Grahamstown, a distance of about 500 km.