AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Holothrix majubensis C.Archer & R.H.Archer, S. African J. Bot. 62: 209 (1996).
Description:
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.
Habitat:
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.
Notes:
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),
Distribution:
NW. KwaZulu-Natal
References
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.
Images:
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Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ
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Photograph© Lourens
Grobler. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Lourens
Grobler. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Lourens
Grobler. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Lourens
Grobler. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Lourens
Grobler. Image used
with kind permission.