Tridactyle inaequilonga (De Wild.) Schltr., Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 36(2): 145 (1918).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Angraecum inaequilongum De Wild., Bull. Jard. Bot. État 5: 187 (1916).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Angraecum acutoemarginatum De Wild., Bull. Jard. Bot. État 5: 181 (1916).
Tridactyle acutoemarginata (De Wild.) Schltr., Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 36(2): 143 (1918).
Pendent epiphytic herb. Stem to c. 30 cm long, c. 4 mm in diameter, branched, woody, covered in old leaf bases, usually with 3–6 leaves towards the apex. Roots 1.5–3 mm in diameter, strongly verrucose.Leaves 8–15.5 cm × 4–7(9) mm, linear, conduplicate, unequally 2-lobed at the apex, the longer lobe 3–8 mm long (rarely the lobes almost equal), with a thread-like stipule 2–3 mm long at the apex of the leaf sheath. Inflorescences arising along the stem, 8–30 mm long, 2–10-flowered.Pedicel and ovary 3–3.5 mm long; bracts sheathing, c. 1 mm long. Flowers yellowish-green to straw-orange in colour. Sepals 3.3–5 × 1–1.7 mm, ovate, acute. Petals 3–4.4 × 0.7–0.9 mm, lanceolate, acute. Lip auriculate at the base, 3.5–5 mm long, 3-lobed in apical half; mid-lobe c. 1.5 mm long, triangular; side lobes about equal in length or slightly longer than mid-lobe, subfiliform; spur 7–9(12) mm long, straight, very slender. Column 1–1.3 mm long.
Usually a high level epiphyte, forming large hanging colonies, in submontane and riverine forest, occasionally in high rainfall Brachystegia woodland 1250–1800 m.
As given for the genus, warm growing epiphyte.
This species may prove to be conspecific with Tridactyle stipulata (De Wild.) Schltr., in which case the latter will be the correct name. Geerinck (1992) has placed both Tridactyle stipulata and Tridactyle inaequilonga in synonymy with Tridactyle scottellii (Rendle) Schltr. as var. stipulata, but the latter species is a much more densely branched and leafier plant with smooth, not verrucose, roots, and with shorter inflorescences and smaller flowers.
Tanzania to Zimbabwe
Flora of Tropical East Africa Orchidaceae Part 3 Cribb 1989; Malawi Orchids La Croix 1983; Flora Zambesiaca Vol 11 Part 2 Pope 1998; Angraecoid Orchids Stewart, Hermans and Campbell 2006; World Checklist of Monocotyledons. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; accessed 21.03.2017
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Photograph©Bart Wursten. Image used with kind permission. Photograph©Bart Wursten. Image used with kind permission. Photograph©Bart Wursten. Image used with kind permission.