AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Roeperocharis alcicornis Kraenzl. in H.G.Reichenbach, Xenia Orchid. 3: 105 (1892).
Description:
Plant slender, 1 ft. high. Tuber globose, 7 lin. long. Leaves linear-lanceolate, acuminate, with about three obtuse sheaths below. Spikes 3 1/2 in. long, lax, many-flowered. Bracts ovate, acuminate, a little longer than the ovary. Pedicels 6 lin. long. Flowers yellow marked with brown. Dorsal sepal very broadly ovate, nearly orbicular, suddenly acute; lateral larger than the dorsal, semiovate, suboblique, acute, reflexed. Petals broader than long, very oblique, cuneate-obovate, apiculate, with the upper margin irregularly dentate and undulate. Lip simple, from a dilated base, narrowly linear, 3 1/2 lin. long, shorter than the pedicels; spur slender, recurved at the apex, inflated, obtuse, curved. Column very broad; anther arms very large, produced in front into acuminate, foliaceous appendages. Stigmatic processes similar, diverging, subclavate, subfalcate, with narrow stigmatic margins.
Habitat:
Distribution:
NW. & C. Ethiopia

Roeperocharis bennettiana Rchb.f., Otia Bot. Hamburg.: 104 (1881).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Habenaria bennettiana Rchb.f., Otia Bot. Hamburg.: 104 (1881).
Roeperocharis elata Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 53: 521 (1915).
Description:

Robust terrestrial herb 50–100 cm tall; tubers 2–2.5 × 1–2 cm, globose or ellipsoid, glabrous. Stem leafy; leaves up to 10, the 2 lowermost black and sheathing, the rest erect, up to 22 × 1.5 cm, narrowly lanceolate, acute, ribbed, decreasing in size towards the stem apex. Inflorescence 11–24 × 3–4 cm, densely many-flowered. Flowers green. Ovary and pedicel 11–25 mm; bracts leafy, 25–30 mm long, longer than the flowers. Dorsal sepal erect, 6.2–11.5 × 4–6.5 mm, ovate; lateral sepals 6–12.5 × 4.2–6.5 mm, obliquely lanceolate to ovate, acuminate, spreading or reflexed, curving upwards. Petals erect, (5.5)7.5–15 × (2.5)3.5–7 mm, obliquely lanceolate, twisted and folded in the middle, with a distinct acute apex; rather fleshy. Lip 3-lobed, with undivided basal part 2–4.5 mm long; mid-lobe 7.2–16.5 × 1–1.5; side lobes 4–9 × 0.5–1 mm, curving upwards; spur 5–15 mm long, pendent, cylindrical, slightly bifid at apex. Column c. 2.5 mm high; anther connective 3–3.5 mm wide, papillose; loculi diverging, 2.5–3.5 mm long, canals 1.5–2 mm long. Stigmatic arms papillose, 2-lobed from base; upper lobe 2–4 mm long, lower lobe 3–5 mm long.
Habitat:

Montane grassland, usually in drier areas 2200–2440 m.
Distribution:

Ethiopia to Zambia

Images:
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Botanical Drawing / Herbarium
Roeperocharisbennettiana
Photograph copyright Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium Jany Renz Image used with kind permission.

Roeperocharis wentzeliana Kraenzl., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 30: 283 (1901).
Description:

Terrestrial herb 30–85 cm tall; tubers up to 2 cm long, ellipsoid. Stem leafy; leaves up to 10, the 2 lowermost sheathing, the rest erect, up to 14.5 × 4 cm, lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, acute, ribbed. Inflorescence 5–17 × 2–3 cm, densely many-flowered. Flowers green. Ovary and pedicel 8–10 mm long; bracts leafy, c. 20 mm long, longer than the flower. Dorsal sepal erect, 6.5–10 × 3.5–5 mm, ovate, acute; lateral sepals spreading or reflexed, 8–10 × 4–5 mm, curved upwards, obliquely lanceolate, acuminate. Petals erect, 7.5–11 × 3–4 mm, fleshy, obliquely oblong, twisted and folded in the middle, the upper part serrated, the apex indistinct. Lip 3-lobed; basal undivided part c. 3 mm long; mid-lobe 9.5–12 × 1–1.5 mm, linear, obtuse; side lobes 1.5–4.5 × 0.5 mm, narrowly linear; spur pendent, 4–7 mm, slightly bifid at apex. Column 2–2.5 mm long; anther connective 3–4 mm wide, papillose; loculi diverging, 2–3 mm long, canals 1.5–2 mm long. Stigmatic arms papillose, 2-lobed from the base; upper lobe 1.5–3.5 mm long; lower lobe 3–3.5 mm long.
Habitat:

Montane grassland, usually in damper areas, montane bog 1700–2440 m.
Distribution:

Tanzania to Zambia

Images:
Click on each image to see a larger version.

Botanical Drawing / Herbarium
roeperocharis wentzeliana
Photograph copyright Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium Jany Renz Image used with kind permission.

Roeperocharis urbaniana Kraenzl. in H.G.Reichenbach, Xenia Orchid. 3: 104 (1892).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Habenaria setigera Chiov., Ann. Bot. (Rome) 9: 137 (1911).
Description:
Plant slender, 6–12 in. high, 2–4-leaved in the middle. Tuber broadly ovate or subglobose. Leaves oblong or oblong-lanceolate, subacute, upper acuminate, 1 1/4–3 in. long, 4–7 lin. broad. Racemes 1 1/2–3 in. long, rather lax, 8–15-flowered. Bracts oblong-lanceolate, acuminate, 5–7 lin. long. Pedicels 4–5 lin. long. Dorsal sepal ovate or ovate-lanceolate, acute, 2 1/2 lin. long; lateral obliquely ovate, acute, 3 lin. long. Petals obliquely ovate, subobtuse, 2 1/2 lin. long. Lip 5 lin. long, with a short broad claw, trilobed; lobes linear; side lobes diverging, shorter than the front lobe; spur cylindrical, slightly dilated above, 6 lin. long. Stigmatic processes oblong, descending, thick, 2 lin. long, each extending upwards in 2, free, oblong lobes. Column divided into two short, broad, diverging arms. Staminodes rounded. Arms of the rostellum nearly quadrate, 1 1/2 lin. long.
Habitat:
Distribution:
NW. Ethiopia