Holothrix buchananii Schltr., Oesterr. Bot. Z. 48: 447 (1898).

Terrestrial herb 5–19 cm tall. Tubers one or two, 1–2 cm long, ellipsoid, hairy. Leaves 2, appressed to ground, 8–25 × 6–22 mm, broadly ovate to reniform-circular, dark green with silvery-white venation. Scape purplish, without sheaths, with some spreading or retrorse hairs. Inflorescence up to 5 cm long, fairly laxly 3–7-flowered, flowers secund; ovary 4–7 mm long; bracts 3 mm long, hairy. Flowers white, the lip with 3–5 purple lines, sepals green with purplish tips. Sepals 2.4–3 × 1–1.5 mm, ovate to ovate lanceolate, acute, pubescent, the lateral sepals oblique. Petals 3–5 × 1.3–2 mm, lanceolate, acuminate, glabrous. Lip 6–9.5 × 4.5–5.5 mm, cuneate from a narrow base, very shortly 5–7-lobed at the apex; spur 2–3 mm long, narrowly conical. Column c. 1 mm long. Anther loculi parallel; pollinaria 2.Stigma sessile; rostellum shallowly 3-lobed.Ovary hairy.

Montane grassland 1900–2300 m.

SW. Tanzania to Malawi

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Botanical Drawing / Herbarium
holothrix buchananii
Photograph copyright Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium Jany Renz Image used with kind permission.