AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Brachycorythis kalbreyeri Rchb.f., Flora 61: 77 (1878).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Brachycorythis kalbreyeri var. glandulosa Braid, Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1925: 360 (1925).
Description:
Roots thick, fleshy, densely woolly, clustered. Stem 15—40 cm tall, erect, delicate, glabrous or minutely, densely pubescent, especially in the lower part. Cauline leaves 5-15, along stem; 4r-11 cm long, 1-2.5 cm wide, sessile, lanceolate to broadly lanceolate, acute, glabrous with pubescent sheaths, spread, gradually deceasing in size up the stem, densely pubescent. Inflorescence 7-17 cm long, laxly 5-22-flowered. Flowers whitish, variously tinged or coloured lilac or mauve, perfumed. Floral bracts up to 55 mm long, ovate- to elliptic-lanceolate, acute, leaf-like, the lower ones longer than the flowers. Pedicel and ovary 15-28 mm long, densely pubescent. Tepals thin, rather delicate. Dorsal sepal 15-18 mm long, 6-10 mm wide, elliptic to oblong-ovate, acute to obtuse. Petals 10-15 mm long, 7.5-12.5 mm wide, obliquely broadly ovate to rotundate, obtuse to rounded at the apex, sometimes undulate along margins. Lateral sepals 16-20 mm long, 6-10 mm wide, obliquely ovate-lanceolate, subacute to obtuse. Lip hypochile 3-4 mm long and wide; epichile 15-24 mm long, 13-24 mm wide, broadly lunate in general outline, with longitudinal keel along the mid-vein, distinctly three-lobed in the upper part; middle lobe 3.5-4 mm long and wide, tongue-like to triangular, curved upwards, much smaller than side lobes; side lobes 8-12.5 mm long, incurved, slightly dentate along margins. Gynostemium 6 mm long.
Habitat:
Plants grow in rainforests or stream-side forests, usually in deep shade, at 5900-7700 ft. (1800-2350 m). In Kenya, plants are found in the western part of the country, growing in stream-side forests at 6550-7700 ft. (2000-2350 m) from the Cherangani hills just north of the equator southward to Sotic, which is just south of the equator.
Cultivation:
Read more of cultivation of Brachycorythis kalbreyeri Rchb.f.
Notes:
Brachycorythis kalbreyeri appears to be related to Brachycorythis ovata Lindl. but has distinctly larger flowers. The petals of the former species are 10-15 mm long and 7.5-11.5 mm wide, lip is 15-24 mm long and 13-24 mm wide. In Brachycorythis ovata petals are 6-10 mm long and 2.8-7 mm wide, lip is 8.5-12(16) mm long and 6.5-10.5 mm wide.
Distribution:
Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo (Zaire), Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia. Alt. 1150-2100 m.
References:
Orchidaceae of West-central Africa, vol. 1, Gdansk University Press Gdansk 2010; Flora or Tropical East Africa Part 1 Summerhayes 1968; Orchids of East Africa Piers 1968 photos fide; The Orchids of South Central Africa Williamson 1977 drawing fide; Flora Zambesiaca Vol. 11 Part 1 Pope 1995; African Orchids in the wild and Cultivation La Croix 1997; Orchids of Kenya Stewart 1996; Manual of Orchids Stewart 1995
Images:
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Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ
brachycorythis kalbreyeri 03 brachycorythis kalbreyeri 02 brachycorythis kalbreyeri brachycorythis kalbreyeri close up
Photograph Karl Senghas©
Swiss Orchid Foundation at
the Herbarium Jany Renz
Image used with kind
permission.
Photograph Karl Senghas©
Swiss Orchid Foundation at
the Herbarium Jany Renz
Image used with kind
permission.
Photograph Karl Senghas©
Swiss Orchid Foundation at
the Herbarium Jany Renz
Image used with kind
permission.
Photograph Karl Senghas©
Swiss Orchid Foundation at
the Herbarium Jany Renz
Image used with kind
permission.