AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Benthamia nivea Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 33: 31 (1924).
Description:

Plants epiphytic 11-35 cm tall with numerous tubers, fusiform and villous; stem covered basally by several sheaths, bearing above 3-4 very distant leaves. Leaves oblong-lanceolate (5-14 x 2-3.5 cm,), acuminate, ordinarily slightly attenuate toward the base. Inflorescence cylindrical or sometimes unilateral many flowered, 6-13 cm long, bracts narrowly lanceolate, very acuminate the inferiors longer than the flower, flowers 9-10 mm long (without the pedicel), of a pure white. Median sepal linear obtuse (7-8 x l mm) 1 veined, lateral sepals slightly curved-sickle shaped, slightly cucullate apically and slightly wider. Petals wider (1.3 mm), 3 veined in the basal thick and obtuse apically. Labellum narrowly oblong (8-9 x 3.5-4 mm,), slightly concave basally, trilobed in the apical third, 5 veined, visible only basally; lateral lobes obtuse, 2.5 mm long, median lobe saccate-subglobulous and very short. Anther nearly orbiculare provided with an obtuse apicule, staminodes curved- sickle shaped, very wide, longer than the anther. Rostellum with the median tooth wider than the laterals. Pedicel 7 mm long
Habitat:

In mossy forests, from 2000 m, alt. flowering February-March
Distribution:

Madagascar