AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Oberonia Lindley, Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl. 15. 1830, nom. cons.
Synonyms:
Iridorkis Thouars, Nouv. Bull. Sci. Soc. Philom. Paris 1: 314 (1809), nom. rej.
Titania Endl., Prodr. Fl. Norfolk.: 31 (1833).
Description:
Herbs epiphytic, often tufted, erect or pendulous. Stem short or slightly long, often enclosed in leaf base. Leaves in two rows, subbasal or dense on stem, usually laterally compressed, rarely subcylindrical, slightly fleshy, near base often dilated into telescopic sheaths, leaf veins inconspicuous or +/- visible when dried, with or without nodes at base. Flower scape emerging from leaf cluster or stem apex, lower part often +/- with sterile bracts, rarely scape with lower part connate to leaves and compressed becoming leaflike; raceme often many flowered; floral bracts small, margin often +/- erose or irregularly notched. Flowers very small, only 1--2 mm in diam., often +/- spirally arranged. Sepals separate, similar. Petals often narrower than sepals, rarely larger than sepals, margin sometimes erose. Labellum often 3-lobed, rarely unlobed or 4-lobed, margin sometimes erose or fimbriate; lateral lobes often embracing column; column erect, short, without column foot, near apex often with wings; anthers terminal, tilted downward, apex caplike, thickened; pollinia 4, forming 2 pairs, waxy, without caudicle, base with a small mass of sticky substance; stigma concave, on front; rostellum small.
Type species: Oberonia ensiformis (Sm.) Lindl.
Distribution:
Cameroon, Malawi, South Africa (Mpumalanga), Tanzania, Uganda, Zaire, Zimbabwe. Comoro Islands, Madagascar, Mascarene Islands.
Notes:
This genus was named in honour of Oberon, king of the fairies, a whimsical allusion to the beautiful tiny flowers of all the species.
Cultivation:
Intermediate temperatures and moderate shade. This species can be either mounted, if the humidity is kept high, or grown in a pot, where it needs to be watered with care as too much moisture will cause the fleshy leaves to rot, although the fine roars do not like to be dried out too much.
Species:

Oberonia disticha (Lam.) Schltr. Trop. & S. Africa, W. Indian Ocean.

World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://www.kew.org/wcsp/ accessed 1/15/2010
Bibliography and References:
Ansari R, Balakrishnan NP. 1990 A revision of the Indian species of Oberonia (Orchidaceae). Orchid Monogr. 4. 1-82, +3p. of plates (1990)
Averyanov LV. 2007 New species of orchids from Vietnam. Taiwania 52. (4): 287-306. En (Ch)
Cootes J. 1998 Oberonia setigera Ames. Orchids Austral. 10. (6): 55 (1998)
Cribb PJ, Herrmann C, Demissew Sebsebe. 2002 New records of orchids from Ethiopia. Lindleyana 17. (1): 178-188
Ormerod P. 2003 Orchidaceous additions to the floras of China and Taiwan. Taiwania 48. (2): 87-93 (2003)
Ormerod P. 2007 Orchidaceous additions to the Flora of China and Vietnam (II). Taiwania 52. (4): 307-314. En (Ch)