AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Brachycorythis congoensis Kraenzl., Orchid. Gen. Sp.: 544 (1898).
Homotypic Synonyms:

Gyaladenia congoensis (Kraenzl.) Szlach., Richardiana 6: 81 (2006).
Heterotypic Synonyms:

Brachycorythis hirschbergii Braid, Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1925: 358 (1925).
Description:

Robust terrestrial herb 18–70 cm tall with cylindrical tuberous roots. Leaves numerous, up to 7.5 × 3 cm, lanceolate, acuminate, decreasing in size up the stem and becoming narrower. Inflorescence up to 23 cm long, 5 cm wide, densely many-flowered; ovary and pedicel 13–20 mm long; bracts leaf-like, up to 34 × 5 mm. Flowers pink-purple, spotted, inner parts often whitish. Sepals elliptic or oblong, rounded; dorsal sepal 5–7 × 2–3.5 mm; lateral sepals 5.5–7.5 × 2–3.5 mm, rather oblique. Petals 4–7.5 × 1.5–3 mm, narrowly oblong. Lip 8–12 mm long, the hypochile forming a conical spur 2–3.5 mm long; epichile 5.2–7 × 4.5–7.5 mm, obovate or oblong, 3-lobed in apical third, all lobes truncate, the mid-lobe larger than the side lobes. Column 3.5–5 mm long.
Habitat:

Seepage areas at foot of slopes, dambo and wet grassland 1000–1500 m.
Distribution:

Tanzania to Zimbabwe