Nervilia fuerstenbergiana Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 9: 330 (1911).
Erect terrestrial herb 3—6.5 cm tall, glabrous except for subterranean parts. Tuber subspherical or ovoid, 7-12 by 10-17 mm. Leaf solitary, appearing after flowering, not prostrate (blade up to 9 cm above litter surface), glabrous; blade broadly cordate, obscurely polygonal, acute to apiculate, apical part triangular with concave sides, 3.5-7.7 by 2.8-8.5 cm, ± clearly marbled in dark and light green above and purple blotched below; veins 7-9; petiole 1-9 cm long, sulcate with 1-3 sheathing cataphylls. Scape erect, terete, 1-flower-ed, with 2 or 3 sheathing cataphylls, lengthening to 13.5-21.5 cm when fruiting. Flower small, ± horizontal, bract lanceolate to triangular, 4.5-7 mm. Sepals and petals spreading, subequal, lanceolate-ligulate, acute, green; lateral sepals slightly oblique, 12-15 by 2.53.5 mm; petals slightly narrower than sepals. Lip oblong, 11.5-16 by 4.5-6 mm, 3-lobed, white to faint pink with purple-violet shortly papillate markings; lateral lobes short, obtuse, erect, green, tightly clasping column; midlobe (= epichile) ovate, with convex central ridge, 6.5-10 by 4.5-5.5 mm. Gynostemium relatively short, clavate, pubescent on ventral side, 5.5-6.5 mm; pollinia yellow, 2 mm; ovary 3.5-4 mm long; mature capsule 10-18 by 7 mm.
Humid forest types; 150-700 m
W. Trop. Africa to Tanzania

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Botanical Drawing / Herbarium
Photograph copyright Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Herbarium Jany Renz Image used with kind permission.