Liparis ascendens P.J.Cribb, Kew Bull. 51: 357 (1996).
A creeping terrestrial herb with an ascending rhizome; rhizome branching, terete, elongate, up to 9 cm long, bearing several scarious bracts along length. Pseudobulbs conical, 3-noded, 2 - 2.5 x 0.5 - 1 cm, 2 - 3-leaved, subtended by 2 lanceolate acute, scarious sheaths. Leaves suberect, ovate-lanceolate, acute, 5- 9 x 1.5 - 2.5 cm; petiole narrow, conduplicate, up to 4 cm long. Inflorescence erect, subcorymbose, many-flowered, 7- 15 cm long; peduncle erect, slender, terete, bearing 4- 6 lanceolate, acuminate sterile bracts in upper part; bracts lanceolate, acuminate, 4- 10 mm long. Flowers green marked with purple; pedicel and ovary 10 - 14 mm long. Dorsal sepal erect, lanceolate, acute, 7 - 8 x 1.5 mm; lateral sepals deflexed, falcate, oblong-obovate, acute, 4.5 - 5.5 x 2.5 - 3 mm. Petals deflexed, somewhat falcate, linear, acute, 7 - 7.5 x 0.5 - 0.7 mm. Lip porrect, conduplicate, subcircular, apiculate, 4.5 - 5 x 4 - 4.5 mm, margins erose; callus basal, fleshy, bilobed. Column suberect, arched, 3.5 - 4.5 mm long.
In soil and moss on rocks in forest, in open places on rocks in forest with Leonardoxa sp.; 900 - 1000 m.
This is a very distinctive Liparis readily distinguished by its ascending rhizome almost covered in scarious bracts along its length and bearing well-spaced pseudobulbs at intervals of up to 9 cm. The pseudobulbs are also characteristically subtended by 2 lanceolate, acute, scarious, sterile sheaths. The flowers have an almost circular lip with a pronounced basal callus, and free lateral sepals. The only other African Liparis with long rhizomes is Liparis deistelii but that has slender rhizomes lacking the sheaths and distinctive flowers with a flabellate, retuse lip, broader than long, and lateral sepals fused almost to the apex. Liparis suborbicularis Summerh., from Cameroon and Nigeria, has clustered pseudobulbs, a retuse lip and lateral sepals that are united for half their length.
As given for the genus.
WC. Trop. Africa
New species and records of Orchidaceae from West Africa, Kew Bulletin, Vol. 51, No. 2 (1996)
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