AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Holothrix longiflora Rolfe, Bol. Soc. Brot. 7: 237 (1889).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Holothrix medusa Kraenzl., Notizbl. Königl. Bot. Gart. Berlin 1: 154 (1896).
Holothrix lastii Rolfe in D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 7: 195 (1898).
Description:
Perennial herb 15-50 cm. high. Tubers ovoid or ellipsoid, 1-2.5 cm. long, 1-1.5 cm. in diameter, densely tomentose. Leaves 2, basal, the lower broadly ovate to reniform, up to 5.5 cm. long and 8 cm. broad, the upper smaller, ovate to transversely elliptical, up to 5 cm. long and 7 cm. broad, both very sparsely hairy on upper surface, glabrous beneath. Scape erect, rather stout, with numerous long weak hairs and a few lanceolate acute sheaths in the upper part. Inflorescence ± secund, up to 12 cm. long, rather laxly up to 20-flowered. Bracts lanceolate, acute, shorter than the ovary, densely hairy. Flowers white, ± spreading. Sepals ovate or lanceolate, acute, 6-9 mm. long, hairy outside and stiffly ciliate at the apex. Petals cuneate, 16-43 mm. long, the upper half divided into 7-11 diverging filamentous lobes, glabrous. Lip fan-shaped or broadly cuneate, 13-38 mm. long, the upper half or third divided into 11-16 filamentous lobes, glabrous; spur conical, much incurved, 3-3.5 mm. long. Ovary densely hairy.
Habitat:
Brachystegia woodlands, montane grasslands, among rocks in grasslands, rock crevices, in dry soil. February-May.
Cultivation:
Not in cultivation, warm to cool growing terrestrial.
Distribution:
Tanzania, Angola, Zambia and Malawi. Alt. 1200-2200 m.
References:
Orchidaceae of West-central Africa, vol. 1, Gdansk University Press Gdansk 2010; Flora Of Tropical East Africa Vol. 1 Summerhayes 1968; The Orchids of South Central Africa Williamson 1977; Flora Zambesiaca Vol. 11 Part 1 Pope 1995; Genera Orchidacearum Vol 2 Part One Pridgeon, Cribb, Chase and Rasmussen 2001
Images:
Click on each image to see a larger version.

Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ
Holothrix longiflora 01 Holothrix longiflora  02 holothrix longiflora 03
Photograph© Margaret
Westrop. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Margaret
Westrop. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Margaret
Westrop. Image used
with kind permission.