AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Benthamia verecunda Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 33: 34 (1924).
Description:

Plants terrestrial, 35-50 cm. tall, tubers 2, oblong fusiform; stem sheathed basally with 2-3 sheaths, bearing 2 leaves, above the middle and several small sheaths distant and very acuminate. Leaves lanceolate-lingulate (10-17 x .7-3.5 cm), acute or acuminate, obviously and gradually attenuate toward the base. Inflorescence elongated (nearly 30 cm long), loosely many flowered flowers unilateral or nearly so, greenish, 4-4.5 mm long without the pedicel); bracts lanceolate, very acuminate, the inferiors generally longer than the flower. Sepals oblong-lingulate obtuse, 1 veined, 3 5 mm long. Petals narrowly oblong, obtuse, 2 veined, longer than the sepals, Labellum oblong (3.5 x 2 mm), slightly concave basally, trilobed in the upper third, median lobe oval, thickened apically 3 times larger than the triangular laterals, spur nearly glabulous (1 mm diameter). very rounded apically. Anther short, provided with a tall, obtuse apicule, staminodes very narrow equal to the length of the anther: rostellum with the median lobe thick and obtuse. Pedicel 6 mm long.
Habitat:

In mossy forests, from 1200 m alt. flowering April
Distribution:

N. Madagascar