Holothrix majubensis C.Archer & R.H.Archer, S. African J. Bot. 62: 209 (1996).
Plant slender, up to 55 mm tall. Leaves 2, green at flowering, ovate, up to 35 x 25 mm, fairly thick-textured, thinly woolly on margin only. Scape ebracteate, indumentum of dense to thin white, woolly hairs. Inflorescence dense, secund, flowers non-resupinate, up to 15, petals and lip carnose, white. Bracts ovate, apex acute, c. 2.5 mm long, densely hairy. Sepals broadly ovate, c. 2.0 x 1.2 mm, sparsely hairy. Petals undivided, 1-veined, lanceolate with obtuse apex, c. 2.8 x 1.0 mm; lip with undivided portion 1,5 x 2.0 mm; lobes 3, ± equal, 1-veined, 1.0 x 0.6 mm, apices obtuse. Gynostemium erect, 1.0 mm long. Spur conical, slightly recurved, ! mm long. Ovary elliptical, constricted at apex, 2.5 mm long. Capsule elliptical, sparsely hairy, 4.0 x 2.0 mm.
Known from the Amajuba mountains in the Newcastle District in KwaZulu-Natal where it is locally common, growing in cracks in vertical sandstone cliffs. Flowering December and January.
Holothrix majubensis is also easily distinguished from several other species of the genus that are known to occur on the nearby Drakensberg Mountains of KwaZulu-Natal and Lesotho, and the Heidelberg and Witwatersrand Mountains of Gauteng (Immelman 1979). The species with unlobed petals that occur in the above-mentioned areas include Holothrix villosa L.indl. and H, thodei Rolfe with 3-lobed lips as well as Holothrix incurva Lindl. and Holothrix micrantha Schltr, Both the latter two species have 5-lobed lips, and Holothrix incurva has glabrous or slightly hairy leaves and yellowish-green flowers while Holothrix micrantha has hairy leaves which are dead at anthesis. The flowers of Holothrix micrantha have a brownish tinge (vide Schlechter 1895: 31),
CRIBB, PJ. 1979. The orchids of Arahia. Kew Bull, 33: 651-78. IMMELMAN. K.L. 1979, A revision of the South African speeics of Holothrix Rich, ex Lindl. (Orchidaceae). M.Sc. thesis, University of Cape Town.; IMMELMAN. K.L. (in press). FSA contributions 6: Orchidaceae. 1408000 Holothrix. Bnthalia.; SCHLECHTER, F.R.R, 1895. Beitrüge zur Kenntnis neuer und kritischer Orchideen aus Südafrika, Bot, Jb. 20. Beibi. 50; 1-44. STEWART. J„ LINDER, H.P.. SCHELPE, E.A. & HALL, A.V. 1982.; Wild orchids of southern Africa. Macmillan, Johannesburg. SUMMERHAYES, V.S. 1968. Orchidaceae (Pari I). In: Flora of tropical East Africa, eds. E. Milne-Redhead & R.M. Polhill. Crown Agents for Oversea Governments and Adminstrations, London.; VAN DER WALT, H. & VAN DER WALT, M. 1995. Holothrix - a new species, S. Afr. Orch. J. 26: 16-17.
Click on each image to see a larger version.