AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Habenaria stenochila Lindl., J. Proc. Linn. Soc., Bot. 6: 139 (1862).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Platantheroides stenochila (Lindl.) Szlach., Richardiana 4: 108 (2004).
Habenella stenochila (Lindl.) Szlach. & Kras-Lap., Richardiana 6: 38 (2006).
Description:
No tubers, roots clustered, fleshy, thick. Stem up to 48 cm tall, erect, rather delicate, glabrous. Leaves 8-12, distributed along the stem length, petiolate. spread; petiole up to 2 cm long, rather wide; blade up to 15 cm long and 5.2 cm wide, oblong to oblanceolate, acute, succulent, pale to medium green with undulate margins. Inflorescence 5-9.5 cm long, up to 20-flowered, rather dense. Flowers medium sized, resupinate, tepals white, spur pale green at the apex. Floral bracts up to 25 mm long, oblong-ovate-lanceolate, acute, herbaceous, glabrous. Pedicel and ovary up to 20 mm long, glabrous; pedicel narrow, twisted; ovary slightly swollen. Dorsal sepal 9-9.5 mm long, 4.6-4.8 mm wide, broadly ovate, subapicu-late, cochleate, glabrous, with 3 branched nerves. Petals 6.5-9.5 mm long, 3.5-5 mm wide, broadly ovate, acute, densely ciliolate, with 3 branched nerves, broadly united with the gynostemium. Lateral sepals 9-11.5 mm long, 5.5-6 mm wide, obliquely and broadly ovate-lanceolate, acute, deeply cochleate with involute lower margin, glabrous, nerves branched. Lip 11-15 mm long, up to 2.8 mm wide, oblong, obtuse, ciliolate in the lower half; basal lobules tiny, triangular. Spur 30^5 mm long, 0.6-0.8 mm in diameter, filiform, upcurved, slightly swollen towards the apex or not. Gynostemium 4 mm long, connective rather narrow, subapiculate, rostellum the middle lobe shortly triangular, antherophores longer than stigmaphores.
Habitat:
Terrestrial or epiphyte on tree trunks, in forests, along rivers. Growing on rocks in undergrowth. Flowering from September to October.
Distribution:
Guinea, Príncipe to Chad