AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Megalorchis regalis (Schltr.) H.Perrier, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 83: 580 (1936 publ. 1937).

Homotypic Synonyms:

Habenaria regalis Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 33: 94 (1924).

Description:

Vivacious herbs, robust, 1-1.50 m tall; roots velutinus, stem with 12-15 leaves, of which 2-3 are radical, flat, upright, contracted into a long petiole (25 mm long, generally) al the base, elliptical lingulate (60 x 8 cm or more. petiole included) and acuminate, the cauline leaves gradually becoming smaller. Raceme to 40 cm long and 11-12 cm in diameter; bracts oval-lanceolate, attenuate with the base wide, attenuate sub acuminate with a long acute point, the inferior bracts sometimes longer than the superior leaves, always longer than the pedicel; flowers glabrous, pure white and of a fleshy texture. Median sepal widely oval (22 x 12 mm), almost totally attenuate, very obtuse apically, 3-5 veined; lateral sepals widely enlarged on the front margin to about its center (25 x 15 mm) very obtuse, 5 veined, veins curving in the enlarged portion. Petals sub triangular (20 x 14 mm) very obtuse, wider basally than the column. Labellum to 3 cm long, cuneiform basally, gradually elongating (15 mm between the two lateral lobes) in a wide gutter shape, trilobed in the apical two-thirds; lateral lobes short (5 mm) 3 veined, slightly diverrucose, thick and obtuse apically; median lobe thin basally, sub orbicular and concave. the abruptly contracted plaice narrowly carinate and thick, 2 cm long, gibbous-bent and obliquely curved and attenuate-obtuse apically; spur pendent, longer than the pedicel (5.5-6 cm) gradually enlarged in a narrowly claviform apicule. Column very wide and short (13-14 mm wide and 4 mm long). Anther with a wide (6 mm) connective appendage 2 mm long; pollen cups small, enveloping nearly all of the cauda, with only the viscidiums exposed; channel short (1 .5 mm), slightly recurved backward; viscidiums bell shaped, obtuse, hollowed below, to as much as l mm wide and short; staminodes thick and wide (l.4 mm). Rostellum with its median lamina thick, obtuse, canaliculate medially, 3.2 mm long by 1.2 mm wide; arms flat, 5-6 mm long, recurved sharply behind or with their tips rejoining with the channel. Stigma 5 mm, gradually thickening clavate. Obtuse apically. Pedicel glabrous 5.5-6 cm long.

Habitat:

In mossy forests, between l800-2000 m alt.; flowering in October-November

Distribution:

N. & NW. Madagascar

Images:

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