AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Platycoryne micrantha Summerh., Kew Bull. 13: 71 (1958).
Description:
Terrestrial herb 20–35 cm tall; tubers shortly stalked, c. 1 cm long, ovoid.Leaves 5–7, spaced along the stem, the 2 lowermost ± spreading, 15–25 × 4–8 mm; the rest appressed.Inflorescence c. 15 mm long, densely 1–7-flowered.Flowers bright orange, erect.Pedicel 4 mm long, ovary 10 mm long; bracts c. 7 mm long.Dorsal sepal erect, 4.3–5.3 × 4–4.5 mm, broadly ovate, convex; lateral sepals reflexed, 4.5–5.5 × 2–2.5 mm, obliquely oblong-lanceolate.Petals 4–4.5 × 1.7–2 mm, falcate, free from dorsal sepal.Lip 4.5–5 mm long, 3-lobed in basal half; mid-lobe 3.5–4 × 0.75–1 mm, ligulate, obtuse; side lobes 1–1.5 × 0.4 mm, linear-ligulate, slightly diverging; spur 10–12.5 mm long, swollen and slightly 2-lobed at apex, pendent.Anther 2.5–3 mm high; canals c. 1.5 mm long.Stigmatic arms 1–2 mm long.Rostellum mid-lobe 1–1.5 mm long; side lobes 1–1.3 mm long.
Habitat:
Marshy grassland, 1200–1300 m.
Notes:
Summerhayes remarks that this species resembles P. crocea, but has smaller flowers with the side lobes of the lip longer and narrower (like those of P. guingangae), and leaves not in a basal tuft. It differs from P. mediocris in the smaller flowers, narrower lip side-lobes and relatively longer side-lobes of the rostellum.
Distribution:
Angola to Zambia