AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Benthamia exilis Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 33: 26 (1924).
Description:

Plants terrestrial, very thin, 13-28 cm. tall without leaves at flowering; tubers oblong and glabrous; Stem filiform, covered by the 4-7 distant sheaths, limbus acute. Rachis (8 x 1-1.2 cm.), with numerous flowers, very densely arranged, yellowish or greenish; bracts lanceolate. nearly equal to the length of the flower. Sepals oblong-obtuse, 3.5 mm long, 3 veined, the median concave, laterals oblique. Petals oblong, obtuse, slightly shorter than the sepals, 3 veined and slightly enlarged on the front basal margins. Labellum in a narrowly oval contour (4 x 2.5 mm.), nearly orbicular and concave in the lower half, laceolate-narrow and obscurely trilobed in the upper half; spur with a wide bane, narrowly cylindrical, nearly 3mm long and shortly bifid apically. Anther obtuse and short, stamionodes upright, linear, sickle shaped and longer than the anther: pedicel 4 mm long.
Habitat:

Growing with narrow leaved bushes, from 2000-2400 m. alt.; flowering : January-April.
Distribution:

Endemic to Madagascar