AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Paralophia palmicola (H.Perrier) P.J.Cribb, Bot. Mag. 22: 51 (2005).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Eulophia palmicola H.Perrier, Bull. Soc. Bot. France 82: 158 (1935).
Lissochilus palmicolus (H.Perrier) H.Perrier, in Fl. Madag. 49(2): 47 (1941).
Description:

Plants epiphytic with a very elongated rhizome, well branched, thick (4-5 mm in diameter), bearing numerous fusiform pseudobulbs, 14-16 cm long, attenuate from their wide base to the apex, covered by the stiff, scarious, striate-veined sheaths, and topped with 6-10 leaves. Leaves linear, rigid, generally 20- 30 cm long. Inflorescence upright, 40-60 cm, peduncle rigid. 30-40 cm tall, partially covered by numerous, .appressed, scarious, obtuse sheaths; raceme simple or several branched basally, loosely 15-20 flowered; bracts cauducous, narrowly lanceolate (12-15 x 2 mm) and whitish; flowers large (4 cm), yellowish with purple maculation's. Median sepal oblanceolate-acute (3.5-4 cm x 5 mm apically), with 7 veins, lateral sepals slightly sickle shaped, slightly longer than the median. Petals narrowly elliptical (3- 3.3 cm x 7-8 mm), acute, 9 veined and with its margins crisped. Labellum 3 cm long and 2cm. wide between the 2 lateral lobes, 3 lobed medially, without calluses, with 9 projecting veins above, the median of which is simple all the rest branch toward the outer edges with the intermediaries simply bifurcated apically; lateral lobes short (7 x 5 mm) and obtuse; median lobe large, suborbicular (15-16 x 13-14 mm), apiculate apically, crisped-undulate marginally; spur cylindrical, obtuse and short (5 x 2 mm). Column thin, 10-11 mm long, canaliculate on the lower surface, without a foot; rear margin of the clinandrium enlarged in an obtuse point; rostellum with a wide notch; auricles flattened; stigma at the apex of the column. Anther 3 mm. wide, with a claviform posterior appendage, wider than half the anther; pollina reniform, joined basally by their bases by a large, retracted cauda joined to the narrow, sub bilobed retinacle which ends in a very wide arch with its extremities elongated in long acicular filiments. Pedicel 2 cm long.
Habitat:

Epiphyte; between the sheaths and petioles of Ravenea xerophilia Jum., flowering in October.
Distribution:

SW. Madagascar