AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Platycoryne affinis Summerh., Kew Bull. 13: 61 (1958).
Description:

Slender terrestrial herb 20–40 cm tall; tubers c. 15 × 7 mm, ellipsoid, pubescent. Leaves 3–5, ± evenly spaced along the stem, the largest up to 5 × 0.5 cm, linear-lanceolate. Inflorescence 1.5–4 cm long, fairly laxly 2–4-flowered.Flowers yellow or yellow-green, erect or suberect. Pedicel and ovary 2.5–3 cm long; bracts 7–21 mm long. Dorsal sepal erect, 5–6 × 3–5 mm, broadly ovate, acute, convex; lateral sepals deflexed, 5–6.5 × 2–2.5 mm, obliquely lanceolate. Petals 4–5.5 × 2–3 mm, obliquely triangular or oblong-lanceolate, not adnate to dorsal sepal but attached to column at base. Lip 3.7–4.7 × 2–2.7 mm, ovate or elliptic-ovate, entire but sometimes with obscure lobes at base, fleshy; spur 15–25 mm long, slightly swollen at apex. Anther 2–3 mm high, apiculate, slightly incurved; canals 2 mm long. Stigmatic arms 2 mm long; rostellum c. 3 mm high, the side lobes shoulder-like, much shorter than mid-lobe.
Habitat:

Wet vlei 1360–1450 m.
Notes:

This species resembles Platycoryne protearum but may be distinguished from it by the usually smaller flowers with free petals, and by the broader lip sometimes with obscure lobes. The species seems prone to producing deformed flowers.
Distribution:

Zimbabwe