AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Vanilla africana Lindl., J. Proc. Linn. Soc., Bot. 6: 137 (1862).
Description:
Stem slender, high climbing. Leaves petiolate, oblong-lanceolate, acuminate, 2–5 in. long, 1/2–1 1/4 in. broad. Raceme 3/4 in. long. Bracts ovate, acute, 1 1/2 lin. long. Sepals and petals not seen. Lip trilobed, 8 lin. long; side lobes roundish-oblong, obtuse, denticulate; front lobe deltoid-ovate, acute; disc with a retrorse hairy crest in the centre, extending as a papillose keel to the base of the lip. Column 1/2 lin. long.
Habitat:
Notes:
Originally described from a specimen which flowered with Messrs. Loddiges. Unfortunately the sepals and petals are not described by Lindley, nor are they present on any of the specimens, though Lindley has carefully preserved and drawn the other parts of the flower.
Distribution:
W. Trop. Africa to Gabon