AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Bonatea porrecta (Bolus) Summerh., Kew Bull. 4: 430 (1949).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Habenaria porrecta Bolus, J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 25: 167 (1889).
Description:
Erect, decumbent or scandent terrestrial herbs, 85-560 mm tall; tubers 1-10, spreading, elongate-oblong, tomentose. Stem slender to robust, 80-550 x 1.5-6.5 mm. Leaves sometimes withered at flowering, 5-16, lax to dense, cauline, lower sheathing, blades reduced, lanceolate to narrowly-oblong, acute to acuminate, margins entire, smooth to undulate, 39-131 x 7-25 mm. Inflorescence cylindrical, 41-237 x 50-131 mm, lax to dense, 3-36-flowered; bracts sometimes withered at flowering, similar to upper leaves, sheathing, ovate-lanceolate to ovate-oblong, apiculate, 12-33 x 4.5-10.0 mm. Flowers spreading, green and white, pedicel and ovary sub-erect, 21.5-39.5 mm long. Dorsal sepal green, erect, elliptical-ovate, galeate, acute to acuminate, 8.5-15.0 x 3-5 mm; lateral sepals green, patent, slightly deflexed, widely oblong-ovate, acute to apiculate, base oblique, margins weakly to strongly revolute with acute tooth on lower margin, 8.0-14.5 x 4.58.5 mm, adnate to lip and stigmatic processes for 3.5-7.5 mm. Petals upper lobe green, erect, narrowly-falcate, acute to acuminate, 6.5-16.0 x 0.5-2.0 mm, adnate to dorsal sepal, lower lobe white with green tip, spreading horizontally, weakly deflexed, weakly to strongly falcate, linear, tip curved, sometimes falcate, acuminate, 12.5-24.5 x 0.5-1.5 mm, adnate to claw of lip for 2.0-5.5 mm. Lip green, claw 6-13 mm, median lobe descending, geniculate, sometimes apically recurved, linear-lanceolate to narrowly-oblong, acute to acuminate, 10.5-20.0 x 1.0-2.5 mm, lateral lobes descending, diverging, linear-falcate, tips curved, acuminate, 14-29 x 0.5-2.0 mm; spur toothed, 24-43 mm long, clavate apex 6.5-21.5 mm long. Anther erect, acute, 3.5-6.0 mm long, canals slender, 6-12 mm long. Stigmatic processes clavate to spathulate, projecting forwards and deflexed, sub-parallel, 8.5-15.5 mm long, base adnate to lip. Rostellum 3-lobed, base auriculate, median lobe cucullate, acute to acuminate, margin ciliate, 2-5 mm long, lateral lobes linear, fused to anther canals, projecting forwards to sub-erect 200, weakly divergent, 2.0-5.5 mm long.
Flowering period:
June to September, rarely October.

Habitat:
Savannah, grassland, forest and thicket, at near sea level to 1800 m
altitude.
Notes:
Bonatea porrecta is distinctive owing to its withered leaves at flowering. This species is similar to B. bo/tonii in flower size and spur morphology (both species averaging 35 mm for total spur length and 11 mm for the clavate apex). The rostellum in B. porrecta is however diminutive, with the free portion of the rostellum side lobes generally the length of the rostellum middle lobe.
Distribution:
Mozambique to S. Africa
References:
Flora Zambesiaca Vol 11, Part 1, (1995) Author: I. la Croix and P.J. Cribb; African Orchids: XIX V. S. Summerhayes, Kew Bulletin, Vol. 4, No. 3 (1949), pp. 427-443; African Orchids: XX V. S. Summerhayes, Kew Bulletin, Vol. 6, No. 3 (1951), pp. 461-475; Wild Orchids of Southern Africa Stewart, Linder, Schelpe & Hall 1982; Orchids of Southern Africa Linder & Kurzweil 1999; Field Guide to the Orchids of Northern South Africa and Swaziland McMurty, Grobler, Grobler & Burns 2008
Images:
Click on each image to see a larger version.

Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ
Bonatea porrecta 01 Bonatea porrecta 02 Bonatea porrecta 03 Bonatea porrecta 04 Bonatea porrecta 05
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.