AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Brachycorythis paucifolia Summerh., Kew Bull. 2: 123 (1947 publ. 1948).
Decription:
Roots tuberous, fleshy, ellipsoid to cylindrical. Stem 25-50 cm tall, erect, rather delicate, glabrous. Cauline leaves 4-6, 5-13 cm long, 0.5-2.5 cm wide, gathered in the lower third of the stem, oblong- to narrowly lanceolate, acute to acuminate, glabrous, spread, decreasing in size up the stem, 1-2 uppermost bract-like, acute. Inflorescence 6-15 cm long, 8-12-flowered, subdense. Flowers relatively large, tepals white to pink, lip purplish, white and purple dotted in the centre. Floral bracts up to 20 mm long, ovate-lanceolate, acute, glabrous. Pedicel and ovary 10-20 mm long, slender, cylindrical, erect, twisted in the lower part, glabrous. Sepals glabrous. Dorsal sepal 14-16 mm long, 6-6.5 mm wide, elliptic to broadly ovate, subacute, with 3 branched nerves. Petals 14-15 mm long, 10-11 mm wide, obliquely triangular-ovate, obtuse, with 5 branched nerves. Lateral sepals 14-18 mm long, 6-6.5 mm wide, obliquely ovate- or elliptic-lanceolate, acute, concave in the centre, with 3 branched nerves. Lip 12-14 mm long and wide, elliptic to oblong-ovate, held horizontally, widest at the apex, 3-lobed in the apical part; the middle lobe 1-2 mm long, triangular, obtuse or rounded; lateral lobes 1-2 mm long, obliquely rounded to rhomboid; basal part of the lip shortly bowl-shaped, 1-3 mm long. Gynostemium 6 mm long.
Habitat:
Savanna, in full sun; grassland on mountain summit; on damp rock pavement, marshy clearings; 1000-1800 m alt.
Phenology:
Flowering mostly from June to November.
Distribution:
Sierra Leone to Ivory Coast
References:
Flora of West Tropical Africa, Vol 3, Part 1,; A Revision of the Genus Brachycorythis V. S. Summerhayes, Kew Bulletin, Vol. 10, No. 2 (1955), pp. 221-264
Images:
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Habitat/In situ
Brachycorythis paucifolia 01
Photograph© Ehoarn
Bidault/ Missouri
Botanical Garden.
Image used with
kind permission.