AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Schizochilus sulphureus Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 53: 16 (1915).
Description:
Slender terrestrial glabrous herb 5-18 cm. high. Tubers ellipsoid, 1-2.5 cm. long, up to I cm. in diameter. Stems somewhat flexuous, leafy in the lower part and bearing a few small bract-like leaves above. Leaves 3-8, linear, narrowly lanceolate or lanceolate-ligulate, acute, up to 7 cm. long and 7 mm. broad. Inflorescence densely up to 17-flowered, conical when young, cylindrical later, up to 5 cm. long, ± I cm. in diameter; bracts leafy, lanceolate, lower ones equalling or rarely longer than the flowers. Flowers yellow; pedicel with ovary ± 5 mm. long. Dorsal sepal narrowly elliptical, apiculate, ± 4—5 mm. long; laterals obliquely oblong-lanceolate, a little longer than the dorsal; all 3-nerved. Petals obliquely rhombic-lanceolate, acute, 3-4 mm. long, 1-nerved. Lip narrowly ovate, usually 3-lobed above the middle but rarely entire, 4.5-6 mm. long, just over 2 mm. broad; lateral lobes very short, triangular; middle lobe much longer, triangular, ± 1.5 mm. long; disk bearing a number of irregular verrucose thickenings just in front of the mouth of the spur; spur broadly rounded, ± I mm. long. Column 1.5-2 mm. long, upper part somewhat recurved.
Habitat:
This is a montane species and often found in moss in seepages over rock and in damp grassland, often after fire above 1800 m.
Cultivation:
Not in cultivation
Distribution:
SW. Tanzania to S. Trop. Africa
References:
Flora of Tropical East Africa Summerhayes Orchidaceae Part 1 1968; Flora Zambesiaca Vol 11, Part 1, (1995) Author: I. la Croix and P.J. Cribb; TYPE MATERIAL OF STOLZ'S AFRICAN ORCHIDACEAE CONSERVED AT THE NATURHISTORISKA RIKSMUSEET STOCKHOLM (s) Eric A. Christenson, Selbyana, Vol. 10, No. 1 (1987), pp. 63-64
Images:
Click on each image to see a larger version.

Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ
schizochilus sulphureus 01 schizochilus sulphureus 02
Photograph© Margaret
Westrop. Image used
with kind permission.
Photograph© Margaret
Westrop. Image used
with kind permission.