Brachycorythis angolensis (Schltr.) Schltr., Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 38(2): 113 (1921).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Platanthera angolensis Schltr. in O.Warburg (ed.), Kunene-Sambesi Exped.: 203 (1903).
Diplacorchis angolensis (Schltr.) Schltr., Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 38(2): 130 (1921).
Afrorchis angolensis (Schltr.) Szlach., Richardiana 6: 82 (2006).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Brachycorythis oligophylla Kraenzl. in O.Warburg (ed.), Kunene-Sambesi Exped.: 208 (1903).
Roots thick and fleshy, cylindrical. Sterile stem with 1-2 leaves, up to 28 cm long, 3.5 cm wide, ob-lanceolate, petiolate. Flowering stem 30-68 cm tall, erect, slender, glabrous. Cauline leaves 5-10, up to 10 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, lanceolate, acute, erect, well spaced along stem. Inflorescence 5.5-12.5 cm long, dense, cylindrical. Flowers white or mauve, with darker lip mauve or purple spotted. Floral bracts 20-36 mm long, lanceolate, acute, glabrous, the lower equalling the flowers. Pedicel and ovary 11-17 mm long, glabrous. Dorsal sepal 7-12 mm long, 2.5-4 mm wide, oblong-elliptic, obtuse, cucullate, glabrous. Petals 6-11.5 mm long, 1.5-5 mm wide, obliquely oblong or elliptic-ovate, subobtuse, glabrous. Lateral sepals 6-13 mm long, 2.5-6.5 mm wide, obliquely ovate-elliptic, cochleate or cucullate at rounded apex, glabrous. Lip 6.5-11.5 mm long, 7-14 mm wide, elliptic-reniform in general outline, rather thick, densely papillate, shortly three-lobed at the apex; the middle lobe 1.5 mm long, 2.5-3 mm wide, semi-rotundate to semi-elliptic, truncate, longer than side lobes; side lobes ovate-rhomboid, indistinctly erose along margins. Spur up to 3 mm long, sac-like. Gynostemium 5.5 mm long.
Brachystegia woodlands, swampy grasslands, permanently wet dambos. October-January.
Material referred to Brachycorythis oligophylla Kraenzl. has very large flowers and Summerhayes has suggested that it might be a tetraploid with sepals up to 13 mm long, petals up to 11.5 mm and the lip up to 12 mm .It otherwise resembles Brachycorythis angolensis.
As given for the genus.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire), Tanzania, Angola, Zambia. Alt. 1150-2400 m.
Orchidaceae of West-central Africa, vol. 1, Gdansk University Press Gdansk 2010; Flora of Tropical East Africa Summerhayes Orchidaceae Part 1 1968
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Habitat/In situ
Brachycorythis angolensis 01 
Photograph© Warren
McCleland. Image used
with kind permission.