AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Vanilla chalotii Finet, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 56: 102 (1909).
Description:
Herba scandens, monopodialis. Caulis (ad siccum) quadrangularis, flexuosus, radiées adventitias, foliis oppositas, emittens. Folia alterna, dissita, basi in petiolum brevem canaliculatum contracta, carnosa; limbus anguste ovatus, acutus, 5-nervosus. Flos unicus, axillaris, mediocris, pedunculo brevi. Ovarium pedicellatum perianthio erecto paulo longius, teres; ovarium pedicello paululum angustius, esulcatum. Sepala navicularia, ecarinata, elliptica, acuta, 11-nervosa; impar longius, angustius, paria lata, vix obliqua. Petala sepalum impar oequantia, carinata, obliqua, 11-nervosa. Labellum erectum, subclausum, fere usque ad colurnnae apicem cum ea cohoerens, basi saccatum, 3-lobum; lobi laterals oblongi, lobo medio multo longiores; lobus médius brevis, integer, reflexus, sinum latum inter lobos latérales eflingens, ad disci medium crista pilosa, hispida, quadrata auctus, utrinque ad apicem incrassatocallosus. Columna elongata, recta, semi-teres, apice incurva; clinandrium dilatatum, anticum, cavum, rostello 2-labiato, labio antico longiore, lorato, acuto, integro; labio postico breviore, quadrato, apice fimbriato. Anthera oblonga, vertice subbiloba, connectivo quadrato, integro, anticeprojecto; pollinia 2, libéra, granulosa.
Folia 7 cm.ionga, 11 mm. lata. Ovarium pedicellatum 15 mm. longum. Sepalum impar 28 mm. longum, 9 mm. latum; sep. paria 22 mm. longa, 12 mm. lata. Petala 28 mm. longa, 8 mm. lata. Labellum 17 mm. longum.
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Habitat:
Distribution:
Equatorial Guinea to Gabon

 

 

 

 

 

Vanilla coursii H.Perrier, Rev. Int. Bot. Appl. Agric. Colon. 30: 435 (1950).
Description:
Very poorly known. and from the literature it is difficult to suggest its affinities, the presence of leaves, the hexagonal lip and the very small flowers are different from other species of the island.
Distribution:
SW. Madagascar

Vanilla hallei Szlach. & Olszewski, Fl. Cameroun 34: 282 (1998).
Description:
This species is closely related to V. africana. However, the lip is fleshier, fused to the column in the basal 1/4, and with papillae in the disc rather than long bristles.
Habitat:
Distribution:
Gabon

Vanilla grandifolia Lindl., J. Proc. Linn. Soc., Bot. 6: 138 (1862).
Description:
This species is characterized by its large, broadly elliptic to suborbicular leaves, abruptely apiculate of rather thin substance. Floral morphology suggests a close relationship with Vanilla imperialis, with a very large rostellum and a trumpet-shaped, concave lip, which is apiculate at apex (after drawings sent by de Wildeman to Kew). Porteres´ fig. 85 (1954) shows a straight, undulate, entire lip lacking the characteristic apicule at apex.
Distribution:
Príncipe to Zaïre

Vanilla heterolopha Summerh., Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1938: 149 (1938).
Description:
Herba scandens, glaberrima; caules flexuosi, graciles, usque ad 70 cm. vel ultra longi, siccitate 1-2 mm. diametro, laxe foliati, e nodis radicantes. Folia lanceolata vel oblongo-lanceolata, longe acuminata, basi late cuneata vel subrotundata, breviter petiolata, 5-12 cm. longa, 1-3-2-7 cm. lata, 9-13-nervia; petioles gracilis, 0-5-1 cm. longus. Inflorescentiae simpliciter racemosae, axillares, 1-3 cm. longae, dense multiflorae ; bracteae = imbricatae, saepe reflexae vel patentes, ovatae vel triangulari-ovatae, usque ad 4 mm. longae. Flores rosei vel roseo-albidi; pedicelli cum ovariis 1-2 cm. longi. Sepalum intermedium oblongo-lanceolatum vel oblongo-oblanceolatum, subacutum vel obtusum, 17-22 mm. longum, circiter 5 mm. latum; sepala lateralia oblique vel curvatim elliptico-lanceolata vel elliptico-ovata, obtusa vel subacuta, 16-17 mm. longa, 7-5-8-5 mm. lata. Petala oblique lanceolata vel oblongo-lanceolata, subacuta, 16-20 mm. longa, 4-5-5:5 mm. lata. Labellum columnae per 7-8 mm. adnatum tubum ore apertum formans, distincte trilobatum, in toto circiter 13 mm. longum; lobus intermedius quadratus, fere rectangularis, apice truncates leviter retusus apiculo brevissimo latissimo interjecto, medio geniculatim recurvatus, 6-5-8-5 mm. longus, 5-5-7-5 mm. latus, lateribus irregulariter dentatis et undulatis; lobi laterales explanati triangulares, apice tantum liberi, obtusi vel rotundati; lobus intermedius antice cristis tribus intermedia humili interrupta vel verrucosa lateralibus antice humilibus integris laevibus in medio lobi intermedii crassis semicircularibus, postice et in labelli disco lamellis multis quadratis vel linearibus transversis deorsum sensimn decrescentibus instructus. Columna arcuatim incurvata, circiter 10 mm. longa, semiteres, apice leviter ampliata, basi in alas latissimas labelli lobis lateralibus adnatas dilatata; anthera reniformis, rotundata; rostellum breve, truncatum, latum.
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Habitat:
Note:
This very interesting species is almost indistinguishable from Vanilla africana Lindl. in vegetative and superficial floral characters. The lip is, however, totally different. Instead of the narrow pointed middle-lobe furnished in the centre with a few retrorse and fimbriate scales, characteristic of Vanilla africana, we have in V. heterolopha a broad rectangular middle-lobe sharply recurved like a knee in the middle. This and the upper part of the disc bears an assemblage of outgrowths and calli which in their diversity go far beyond those of any African species or indeed of any other species known to me. In the front are three parallel keels, the middle one lower and broken up into a series of knobs, the outer smooth in front but forming at the knee-bend of the lip a pair of swollen semicircular calli similar to those found in many species of Eulophia, for example, Eulophia cristata (Sw.) Steud. Behind this the crests cease but are replaced by a series of relatively narrow but transversely placed lamellae which become shorter and shorter towards the base of the lip, until they are represented merely by transverse raised lines.
Distribution:
Congo to Gabon