AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Vanilla madagascariensis Rolfe, J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 32: 476 (1896).
Description:
Plants climbing, stems often to 4-8 m long, very branched, generally being at the tops of trees and bushes or pendent, of a grayish-green attached by fleshy, thick, very sappy, rubbery and irritating roots. Clusters 10-20 flowered, sub corymbiform then elongating; bracts not equaling more than a fifth the length of the pedicel; flowers pure white with the lower two-thirds of the labellum tinted red or rose-carmine. Sepals obtuse and narrowly obovate (5.5-6.5 x l.5-1.8 cm), with 12-14 sinuate- flexuose veins, Petals of the same length, but wider (2.6-3.5 cm in the apical third), obtuse and with 16-18 sinuate-flexuous veins. Labellum 4-5 cm long 2.6-3 cm wide in the apical quarter, joined to the column for 1.8-2 cm obscurely trilobed apically, the laterals flat, the median angular-subob and the margins undulate, but not fringed; provided basally with 2 keel with hairs, joined basally, then separated and reaching to the apical third of the labellum, raised by a small median crest which elongates to the median lobe; hairs of the keels long (nearly 3 mm), fleshy, denticulate or branched; veins numerous, bifurcate and very sinuate-flexuose. Column 2-2.3 cm; anther rounded, thicker than long basally, elongated in front with an obvious tongue; staminodes much wider (2.3 mm) than tall (1.5 mm), more or less crenulate apically, accompanied below on the front edge, by a small obtuse, or very obtuse tooth. Rostellum in a wide flap with a fine median ked. Stigmas 2.5 mm long, twisted-cylindrical and notched apically. Pedicel 3.5-5.5 cm long. Fruit cylindrical, 15-20 cm long.
Habitat:
In tropical woods it the east, from 0-800 m alt.; sometimes also in the dry forests in the east.
Phenology:
Flowering in June-October
Distribution:
N. & NW. Madagascar
References:
Flora of Madagascar: vascular plants: 49th family, Orchids / by H. Perrier de La Bathie; published under the auspices of the government of Madagascar and under the direction of H. Humbert; English revision and translation by Steven D. Beckman; Orchids of Madagascar Hermans 2007; Field Guide to the Orchids of Madagascar Cribb & Herman 2009
Images:
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Habitat/In situ Habitat/In situ
vanilla madagascariensis vanilla madagascariensis 02
Photograph Karl Senghas©
Swiss Orchid Foundation at
the Herbarium Jany Renz
Image used with kind
permission.
Photograph Karl Senghas©
Swiss Orchid Foundation at
the Herbarium Jany Renz
Image used with kind
permission.