AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Habenaria thomana Rchb.f., Otia Bot. Hamburg.: 97 (1881).
Description:

A medium-sized terrestrial herb, up to 60 cm tall, with succulent brown roots. Leaves up to 9 clustered towards the base of the plant, ovate to obovate, acute to acuminate, 8 - 20 x 2.5 - 5 cm; petiole up to 6 cm long. Inflorescence erect, 20 - 50 cm long, laxly 10- to 30-flowered; peduncle glabrous, grooved, bearing 3 to 4 sterile bracts on lower half; bracts lanceolate, acuminate, 11 - 21 mm long. Flowers green, not much overtopping the bracts; pedicel and ovary 13- 15 mm long. Dorsal sepal cucullate, suberect, ovate, obtuse, 6 - 7.5 x 3.5 - 4 mm; lateral sepals deflexed- recurved, obliquely lanceolate, obtuse, 8 - 8.5 x 3.5 - 4 mm. Petals bifid just above base; posterior lobe adnate to the dorsal sepal forming a hood over the column, 6.5 - 7.5 x 1.5 mm; anterior lobe short, pointing downwards, 1 mm long. Lip rather fleshy, 3-lobed at base; side lobes upcurved , linear-falcate, rounded at apex, 6 x 0.7 mm; midlobe pendent, linear, rounded at apex, 7 x 0.8 mm; spur more or less parallel to the ovary, slightly decurved or S-shaped, 13- 15 mm long. Column 3- 3.5 mm tall; stigmatic arms shortly clavate, 1.5 mm long.
Habitat:

Terrestrial in shade in primary submontane forest of Syzygium staudtii and Santira trimera, and secondary forest; 1100 - 1300 m.
Distribution:

Gulf of Guinea Is., SW. Cameroon