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 50131 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