Satyrium parviflorum Sw., Kongl. Vetensk. Acad. Nya Handl. 21: 216 (1800).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Diplecthrum parviflorum (Sw.) Pers., Syn. Pl. 2: 509 (1807).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Satyrium cassideum Lindl., Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl.: 341 (1838).
Satyrium densiflorum Lindl., Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl.: 340 (1838), nom. illeg.
Satyrium eriostomum Lindl., Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl.: 342 (1838).
Satyrium lydenburgense Rchb.f., Flora 64: 328 (1881).
Satyrium aphyllum Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 24: 424 (1897).
Satyrium tenuifolium Kraenzl., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 24: 505 (1898).
Satyrium wilmsianum Kraenzl., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 24: 505 (1898).
Plants variable in habit, from slender and leafless or with small leaves on a lateral basal shoot, to slender with a few large basal leaves, through to stout forms with large basal leaves, broad sheaths and dense inflorescences; (15-) 21 -75 (-130) cm tall, glabrous. Leaves 2-4 if present, the longest 1 -33 cm long, elliptic to broadly ovate, spreading 40°-90° from the stem; leaves above the longest becoming sheath-like abruptly or gradually, the upper sheaths merging smoothly into the bracts; leafless plants with sheaths varying from few and distant to numerous and largely obscuring the stem. Inflorescence of (10-) 21 -65 (-106) flowers, 7-60 cm long, very lax to somewhat dense when mature. Perianth colours yellowish green to olive or dark maroon, the petals drying to a rich brown shortly after anthesis. Scent usually faint, very sweet. Bracts narrowly lanceolate, 1 -2,5 times the length of the 4-10 mm long ovary, deflexed 120°-160° from the stem shortly above the base of the ovary when mature. Sepals and petals ¼ fused to the labellum. Lateral sepals 3-5 mm long, obovate, falcate. Odd sepal obovate-truncate, shorter than the lateral sepals. Petals narrowly obovate, about % of the length of the lateral sepals, minutely papillose. Labellum sub-ovoid with the galea aperture almost pinched dosed at the base, the margins reflexed and somewhat crenulate. Spurs often at first curved away from the side of the ovary, 5-15 mm long. Column stout, the basal part strongly curved and 2,0-2,5 mm long. Rostellum prominent, fleshy, boat-shaped, truncate, with two small discoid glands; staminodes at the base pulvinate and rather prominent. Stigma arching over the rostellum, about 1,2 times broader than long, obtuse.
Flowering takes place mostly in summer. In the south (33°-34° S.) it tends to be slightly earlier, starting in September. Elsewhere the chief months are December to February, during the summer rains. It has been found in a wide variety of habitats, from fynbos near George to marshy, moist or dry places in grassland, exposed or in the shade of rocks, on occasions even in forest.
S. Africa
Flora Capensis, Vol 5, Part 3, page 3, (1913) Author: (By R. A. ROLFE.); Molecular Markers Reject Monophyly of the Subgenera of Satyrium (Orchidaceae) Timotheüs van der Niet, Systematic Botany, Vol. 30, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 2005); Seed morphology in Southern African Orchidoideae (Orchidaceae) H. Kurzweil, Plant Systematics and Evolution, Vol. 185, No. 3/4 (1993)
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Habitat/In situ  Habitat/In situ 
Satyrium parviflorum 01  Satyrium parviflorum 02 
Photograph© Warren
McCleland. Image used
with kind permission. 
Photograph© Warren
McCleland. Image used
with kind permission.