AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Satyrium comptum Summerh., Kew Bull. 20: 174 (1966).
Description:
Herba terrestris, 7-20 cm. alta, radicibus exceptis fere omnino glabra; tubera 1-3, ovoidea, ellipsoidea vel ellipsoideo-cylindrica, 1-3 cm. longa, 5-10 mm. diametro, glabrata vel 4- tomentosa; radices graciles, flexuosae, sparse pubescentes. Caulis erectus, gracilis, teres, foliatus, in inflorescentiam terminans. Folia 4-6; infimum interdum ad bracteam redactum; intermedia 1-3 1- patentia, lanceolata, ovata vel fere orbicularia, acuta vel obtusissima, saepius sub-opposita, usque 2-4.5 cm. longa et 1.5-4 cm. lata, carnosula, griseo-viridia, nitentia; 2-3 superiora ± vaginiformia, cauli adpressa, lanceolata, acuta, sursum decrescentia. Inflorescentia usque 5 cm. longa, 2-2-5 cm. diametro, laxiuscule I-8-flora; bracteae primum erectae, deinde valde reflexae, lanceolatae vel late lanceolatae, acutae, 8-15 mm. longae, floribus saepius breviores. Flores suberecti vel erecto-patentes, albi vel roseo-rubri, fragrantes; pedicellus cum ovario arcuatim curvatus, 7-9 mm. longus, sexangulatus. Sepala et petala porrecta, vel -4- decurvata, inter se dimidio inferiore connata, lateralia cum labello triente inferiore connata; sepalum intermedium oblanceolatum, obtusissimum, 7-8 mm. longum, fere 2 mm. latum, sepala lateralia oblique elliptico-oblonga, rotundato-obtusa, 6-5-7.5 mm. longa, 2-2.5 mm. lata. Petala oblanceolata vel oblanceolatooblonga, obtusissima, 6-5-7 mm. longa, i-i-5 mm. lata, marginibus interdum breviter papilloso-ciliolatis; omnia tepala I-2-nervosa. Labellum fere horizontale, valde convexum, cucullatum, apice late et breviter reflexum, circiter 7 mm. longum, ore angusto, basi 2-calcaratum; calcaria recta vel leviter curvata, ab ovario divergentia, sursum sensim angustata, 8-5-Io mm. longa, basi 1-5 mm. diametro. Columna erecta, brevis, 4.'5-5 mm. alta, stipite circiter 2-5 mm. longo arcuato; antherae loculi dependentes, ellipsoidei, 1.5 mm. longi, pollinii stipite gracili, viscidio elliptico vel fere orbiculari; stigma erectum, transverse ellipticum vel oblongum, 2 mm. altum, 3-3.5 mm. latum, rostello porrecto carnoso trilobato lobis lateralibus brevibus acutis lobo intermedio multo majore sub-spathulato obtusissimo.
Help wanted to an English translation, please write to me, if you know where this can be found.
Habitat:
In clefts and niches amongst rocks at elevations around 2650 to 2800 meters.
Note:
This species agrees with Satyrium anomalum Schltr. in possessing spurs which diverge markedly from the ovary, but differs in its lesser stature, the fewer flowered inflorescences and the presence of foliage leaves at the base of the flowering stem instead of on separate sterile shoots. This assemblage of characters gives it a distinct and easily recognizable facies not found in any other tropical member of sect. Chlorocory
Distribution:
SW. Tanzania