AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Satyrium odorum Sond., Linnaea 19: 86 (1846).
Description:
Plants robustly leafy, stoutly erect, (11-) 20-44 (-56) cm high, glabrous. Leaves 2-6, the largest 4-24 cm long, arcuate-spreading and fleshy-textured, ovate to narrowly-ovate; upper leaves less spreading and shorter, with conical sheathing bases, the transition to bracts being gradual to abrupt. Inflorescence with (2-) 7-23 (-44) flowers, 2-24 cm long and moderately dense. Perianth pale green and often yellowish, with slight to deep tinges of dull purple-brown on outer, distal surfaces. Scent strong, pungent and sweetish. Bracts 1,3-2,6 times the length of the 9-13 mm ovary, ovate-acute and strongly deflexed near their bases at anthesis. Lateral sepals 4-8 mm long, ovate-oblong, slightly oblique, strongly deflexed from the base. Odd sepal obovate-oblong, slightly shorter than the lateral sepals, also deflexed. Petals slightly more than half the length of the lateral sepals but somewhat less deflexed, ovate-oblong. Mentum at the base of the sepals about 3 mm long, angled at about 45° away from the line of the ovary, fused to form a short tube with the labellum. Labellum often drying black, 8-10 mm from the spur bases to the apex, the margins recurved and the broadly rounded apical flap about 2 mm long. Spurs 13-18 mm long, at first curved away from the ovary, rarely with adjacent extra spurs up to 3 mm long. Column tightly filling the galea, the curved base 3 mm long. Rostellum 4 mm long, keeled atthe base, the apex broadly rounded with prominent lateral ovate glands. Stigma 5 mm long, oblong to oblong-obovate.
Habitat:
It is usually found in partly shaded, humus-rich soils near trees and bushes, especially near large boulders and rock ledges. It may also appear among bushes on open flats. It ranges from places close to the sea-shore to lower mountain slopes to about 200 m, rarely up to 650 m.
Phenology:
Flowering takes place mostly in the spring months of August. September and October, rarely in July and November.
Distribution:
The centre of distribution is in the south-western Cape, with extensions north along the coast to Saldanha and eastwards to Riversdale and an isolated locality near Knysna.
References:
A revision of the southern African species of Satyrium. [A V Hall; Edmund A C L E Schelpe; Nicola C Anthony] 1982; Wild Orchids of Southern Africa Stewart, Linder, Schelpe & Hall 1982; Orchids of Southern Africa Linder & Kurzwell 1999
Images:
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Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ
Satyrium odorum,  01 Satyrium odorum,  03 Satyrium odorum,  04 Satyrium odorum,  05 Satyrium odorum,  06 Satyrium odorum, 07
Photograph© Cameron
McMaster. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Cameron
McMaster. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Cameron
McMaster. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Cameron
McMaster. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Cameron
McMaster. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Cameron
McMaster. Image used
with kind permission.