AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Benthamia praecox Schltr., Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 34(1): 303 (1916).
Description:

Plants thin, to nearly 30 cm tall; tubers 5-7, stipitate, oblong-claviform, villous; leaves not developed at flowering, acuminate-aristate; stern with less numerous sheaths, bractiform. Rachis very densely many flowered, elongated (15cm generally). Unilateral, bracts lanceolate-linear, very acute, slightly longer than the pedicel, flowers small, of a greenish-brown. Sepals elliptical-oblong, obtuse, 3 mm long generally. Petals longer, lanceolate-lingulate-obtuse, slightly enlarged on the front banal edge. Labellum widely cuneiform, trilobed apically, lobes subacute, ligulate-obtuse, the median thick, the laterals diverging; spur narrowly cylindrical, obtuse, 2.5 mm long. Anther subglobulous, staminodes suborbicular, half as long as the anther. Pedicel 4 mm long, slightly curved.
Habitat:

On bare granite boulders, S. Betsileo, between 1000 and 1400 m. alt., flowering September-November.
Distribution:

Endemic to Madagascar