AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Benthamia calceolata H.Perrier, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 81: 32 (1934).
Description:

Plants terrestrial, 30-60 cm tall, with 5-8 elongated tubers (nearly 3 cm long), cylindrical or fusiform, tipped by a root, fasciculate with a short rhizome, which habitually emits at its apex 5 buds, 3 of which form leaves the other 2 are floral buds; foliage buds acaulis, bearing a single developed leaf, sheathed basally with 2-3 sheaths with reduced limbuses. Leaf oblong-lanceolate (14 x 3.2 cm generally), attenuate-acute at both ends. Scapes upright, without developed leaves bearing 6-8 cataphylls reaching to the bracts and having a linear very acute limbus. Inflorescence thin, loose, narrow (17 x 1 cm), bracts lanceolate, very acute, slightly longer than half the length of the inflorescence and the basal half of the pedicel; flowers very small (3 mm without the pedicel). Sepals oval-obtuse ((1.8-2,2 x 0.8-l mm), 1veined and provided with a slightly visible keel. Petals much thicker, very concave, above (1.5-2 x 0.8 mm), slightly cucullate and very rounded apically. Labellum entire, boat shaped, very deep and very short, slightly verrucose exteriorly; spur scrotiform, wider apically than long (l mm), contracted basally, provided apically with an obvious and deep furrow. Anther retuse. Pedicel 5-6 mm long.
Habitat:
Distribution:

Madagascar