AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Satyrium microcorys Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 53: 533 (1915).
Description:

Slender terrestrial herb 10–40 cm tall; tubers to 2 × 2 cm, ovoid, woolly. Stem leafy. Leaves 5–8; the lowermost 1–2 leaves sheathing; the next 2 leaves spreading, borne near stem base, 4–9 × 2–4 cm, elliptical or lanceolate; the upper leaves bract-like, spaced along stem. Inflorescence 4–12 × 1–1.5 cm, fairly densely several- to many-flowered. Flowers cream-yellow or yellow-green. Ovary 5 mm long; bracts to 15 mm long at base of inflorescence, reflexed. Sepals and petals curled under, joined to each other and lip in basal third. Median sepal 3–4 × 0.5 mm, oblong-oblanceolate, rounded; lateral sepals slightly longer and wider, oblique. Petals similar to median sepal but slightly shorter and narrower. Lip 3–5 mm long, ellipsoid, the apex slightly reflexed, fleshy with a narrow mouth. Spurs 3–4 mm long, bulbous at apex, parallel to ovary. Column c. 3 mm high, curved; stigma 1.5 × 2 mm; rostellum mid-lobe spade-shaped from a narrow base, much longer than the triangular side lobes.
Habitat:

Montane grassland, usually amongst rocks in seepage areas 1900–2300 m.
Distribution:

Tanzania to Zambia

Images:
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Botanical Drawing / Herbarium
 satyrium microcorys
Photograph copyright Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium Jany Renz Image used with kind permission.