AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Platycoryne crocea Rolfe in D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 7: 257 (1898).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Habenaria crocea Schweinf. ex Rchb.f., Otia Bot. Hamburg.: 57 (1878), nom. illeg.
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Habenaria elegantula Kraenzl., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 51: 376 (1914).
Habenaria ochrantha Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 53: 494 (1915).
Habenaria montis-elgon Schltr., Notizbl. Bot. Gart. Berlin-Dahlem 8: 225 (1922).
Platycoryne montis-elgon (Schltr.) Summerh., Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1932: 508 (1932).
Platycoryne elegantula (Kraenzl.) Summerh. in J.Hutchinson & J.M.Dalziel, Fl. W. Trop. Afr. 2: 414 (1936).
Platycoryne ochrantha (Schltr.) Summerh., Kew Bull. 2: 125 (1947 publ. 1948).
Platycoryne heterophylla Summerh., Kew Bull. 13: 69 (1958).
Platycoryne crocea subsp. elegantula (Kraenzl.) Summerh., Kew Bull. 17: 532 (1964).
Platycoryne crocea subsp. montis-elgon (Schltr.) Summerh., Kew Bull. 17: 533 (1964).
Platycoryne crocea subsp. ochrantha (Schltr.) Summerh., Kew Bull. 17: 533 (1964).
Description:
A terrestrial herb 1-4 dm. high, glabrous except for the roots; tubers ellipsoid or almost globose, 8-18 mm. long, 5-10 mm. in diameter, densely tomentose. Stem erect, often somewhat flexuous, slender, terete or angled, with a tuft of leaves at the base and several more scattered along its length. Leaves 5—12(—16), the lowermost sometimes reduced to a sheath, the lower 3-8 forming a tuft, suberect or variously spreading, linear or linear-lanceolate, acute, the largest 1.5-6(-8) cm. long, 2-8 mm. broad, the upper ones at intervals on the stem, ± adpressed, lanceolate, acute, shorter than the basal ones. Inflorescence short, 0.5-2(-3.5) cm. long, 2-3.5 cm. in diameter, densely 2-6(-9)-flowered. Bracts leafy, lanceolate, acuminate, 7-18 mm. long, usually shorter than the pedicel with ovary. Flowers suberect or curving outwards, yellow or orange; pedicel with ovary ± curved, 14-19 mm. long. Dorsal sepal erect or curved forwards, very convex, broadly ovate, acute, 6.5-12 mm. long, 3.5-7.5 mm. broad; laterals deflexed, obliquely oblong-lanceolate, acute or acuminate, 5.5-11.5 mm. long, (2-3.5 mm. broad. Petals erect, adherent to the dorsal sepal, much curved, obliquely ligulate-lanceolate, subacute or obtuse, 4.5-10.5 mm. long, ± 2 mm. broad. Lip deflexed, often upcurved in the apical part, 3-lobed at the base, altogether 5-12 mm. long; middle lobe ligulate, fleshy, obtuse, 1-2 mm. broad, the side lobes ± spreading, almost tooth-like or up to nearly 2 mm. long, narrow, acute; spur dependent, swollen in the apical part, 9-15 mm. long. Anther erect, obtuse or shortly apiculate, 2.5-4.5 mm. long, canals porrect, 1-2.5 mm. long. Stigmas horizontal or somewhat decurved, club-shaped, obtuse, 1-5-3 mm. long; rostellum erect, 3-lobed, the middle lobe narrowly triangular, acute, 1-2.5 mm. long, the side lobes shorter, truncate.
Habitat:
Brachystegia woodland on stony soil, pebbly grassland 900–1350 m.
Notes:
Summerhayes in describing Platycoryne heterophylla differentiated it from Platycoryne. crocea by its larger rostellum mid-lobe and by its relatively broad basal leaves and much narrower cauline leaves. However, all the measurements given fall within the range recognised for Platycoryne crocea.
Cultivation:
Not in cultivation.
Distribution:
Cameroon to Ethiopia and Zimbabwe
References:
Flora of Tropical East Africa Summerhayes Orchidaceae Part 1 1968; Flora of Tropical Africa, Vol 7, page 12, (1898) Author: (By R. A. Rolfe.); African Orchids: XXV V. S. Summerhayes, Kew Bulletin, Vol. 13, No. 1 (1958), pp. 57-87+ii; Orchids of the Central African Republic: A Provisional Checklist P. J. Cribb, Kew Bulletin, Vol. 42, No. 3 (1987), pp. 711-737; The Orchid Flora of Benishangul-Gumuz (Western Ethiopia): An Ecological and Phenological Study Christof Herrmann, Selbyana, Vol. 28, No. 2 (2007), pp. 123-136; Orchids of Malawi A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam Page 102; La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1995). Orchidaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 11(1) Pages 151 - 152
Images:
Click on each image to see a larger version.

Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ
Platycoryne crocea  01   Platycoryne crocea 02  Platycoryne crocea  03  Platycoryne crocea 04  Platycoryne crocea  05  Platycoryne crocea 06
Photograph© Warren
McCleland. Image used
with kind permission from
African plants – A Photo
Guide. www.africanplants.
senckenberg.de
Photograph© Warren
McCleland. Image used
with kind permission from
African plants – A Photo
Guide. www.africanplants.
senckenberg.de
Photograph© Warren
McCleland. Image used
with kind permission from
African plants – A Photo
Guide. www.africanplants.
senckenberg.de
Photograph© Warren
McCleland. Image used
with kind permission from
African plants – A Photo
Guide. www.africanplants.
senckenberg.de
Photograph© Warren
McCleland. Image used
with kind permission from
African plants – A Photo
Guide. www.africanplants.
senckenberg.de
Photograph© Warren
McCleland. Image used
with kind permission from
African plants – A Photo
Guide. www.africanplants.
senckenberg.de