Bonatea lamprophylla J.Stewart, Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 47: 995 (1978).
Erect, decumbent or scandent terrestrial herbs, 518-1054 mm tall; tubers 1-6, spreading, elongate-oblong, tomentose. Stem robust, 508-1049 x 5.5-12.5 mm. Leaves glossy, 5-15, lax, cauline, lower sheathing, blades reduced, cordate, acuminate, margins entire, undulate, 56-121 x 28-63 mm. Inflorescence cylindrical, 111-215 x 103-236 mm, lax, 5-16-flowered; bracts similar to upper leaves, sheathing, ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, 33-71 x 9.5-29.0 mm. Flowers spreading, green and white, pedicel and ovary sub-erect, 51.587.0 mm long. Dorsal sepal green, erect, narrowly-elliptical, galeate, acute to acuminate, 28.5-34.0 x 5.5-8.0 mm; lateral sepals green, patent, strongly deflexed, oblong-lanceolate, acuminate, base oblique, margins strongly revolute with acute tooth on lower margin, 28.5-33.5 x 9-13 mm, adnate to lip and stigmatic processes for 8-11 mm. Petals upper lobe green, erect, linear, acute to acuminate, 27.5-32.5 x 0.51.5 mm, adnate to dorsal sepal, lower lobe white with green tip, spreading horizontally, weakly deflexed, Iinear-falcate, tip curved, acuminate to apiculate, 34.5-54.0 x 0.5-1.5 mm, adnate to claw of lip for 3.5-6.5 mm. Lip green, claw 17.5-22.5 mm, median lobe descending, geniculate, linear, acute to acuminate, 32-47 x 0.5-1.5 mm, lateral lobes descending, diverging, linear, tips curved, acuminate, 106-135 x 0.5-1.0 mm; spur toothed, 92-131 mm long, clavate apex 29-59 mm long. Anther erect, acute, 9.5-12.5 mm long, canals slender, 25.0-32.5 mm long. Stigmatic processes clavate, projecting forwards and deflexed, weakly divergent, 20.5-27.0 mm long, base adnate to lip. Rostellum 3-lobed, base auriculate, median lobe cucullate, apex incurved, apiculate, margin ciliate, 6.5-10.0 mm long, lateral lobes linear, fused to anther canals, sub-erect to 45°, subparallel, 14.0-17.5 mm long. Flowering period: September to November.
Savannah and coastal dune forest, at near sea level to 200 m altitude.
Bonatea lamprophylla is a striking species with the largest flowers in the genus. It is closely allied to B. steudneri but is easily distinguished by its exceptionally long labellum side lobes (106-135 mm compared to 35.5-60.0 mm for B. steudneri), and its glossy cordate dark green leaves with undulate margins.
S. Mozambique to NE. KwaZulu-Natal

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Image Flower Details Habitat/ In Situ Botanical Drawing / Herbarium
      bonatea lamprophylla
      Photograph copyright Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium Jany Renz Image used with kind permission.