AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Benthamia perularioides Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 33: 32 (1924).
Description:

Plants terrestrial, 45-65 cm tall; tubers 4-6, fusiform; 1 stem sheathed basally, ordinarily bearing 2 developed leaves below the 7-10 lanceolate sheaths, gradually passing to bracts. Leaves more or less narrowly oblong (10-17 x 2.5-3.5 cm), shortly acuminate or mucronate. Rachis rigid, elongated (nearly 25 x 1.2 cm), densely many flowered; bracts lanceolate, very acuminate, the inferiors longer than the flower; flowers greenish. Sepals narrowly oblong (3.5-1-1,2 mm), obtuse, the median obscurely 3 veined, the laterals I veined. Petals oval-obtuse, obscurely 2 veined, slightly enlarged an the front basal margin, longer than the sepals. Labellum of a rhomboid contour, entire but heavily dilate in the lower third, linguiform apically, obtuse, opaque, and thick, slightly longer than the sepals; spur sub cylindrical, attenuate from its base to its obtuse apex, longer than the sepals. Anther retuse, 1.2 mm tall; staminodes Very rounded, thick, a quarter the length of the anther; rostellum with its lateral lobes obsolete the median in an obtuse point, recurved behind. Pedicel generally 6 mm long.
Habitat:

Praries, between 1200 and 2500 m alt.; flowering March-April. Very common.
Distribution:

C. Madagascar