AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Didymoplexis Griffith, Calcutta J. Nat. Hist. 4: 383. 1844.
Synonyms:
Leucorchis Blume, Mus. Bot. 1: 31 (1849).
Apetalon Wight, Icon. Pl. Ind. Orient. 5: 22 (1851).
Epiphanes Rchb.f. in B.Seemann, Fl. Vit.: 295 (1868), nom. illeg.
Description:
Herbs, terrestrial, small, holomycotrophic. Rhizome fusiform, tuberous, fleshy, neck sometimes with a few filiform roots. Stem erect, slender, with a few scalelike sheaths near base, leafless, glabrous. Inflorescence erect, terminal, racemose, with 1 to several flowers; floral bracts small. Flowers spreading, resupinate, often ephemeral, white or pale yellowish brown; pedicel elongating in fruit. Sepals and petals connate at base and forming a short tube; dorsal sepal and petals connate for ca. 1/2 their length and forming a porrect hood; lateral sepals usually connate for more than 1/2 of their length, deflexed distally; lip adnate with column foot at base, free from sepals and petals, not spurred, entire or weakly 3-lobed; disk with 1 or more basal glands and often papillate. Column elongate, dilated and with 2 wings at apex, wings forming short, toothlike stelidia, with distinct column foot at base; anther subterminal, borne on a short filament; pollinia 4, in 2 pairs, granular-farinaceous, ecaudiculate, each pair directly attached to a sticky viscidium; rostellum erect, transverse; stigma broad, placed directly below rostellum. Capsule erect, fusiform.
Type species: Didymoplexis pallens Griff.
Distribution:
Trop. & S. Africa to W. Pacific

A key to flowering Didymoplexis in Africa and Madagascar
Cultivation:
Not in cultivation.
World Checklist of Monocotyledons. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://www.kew.org/wcsp/monocots/ accessed1/20/2010

Bibliography and References:
Olszewski TS. 2004 A provisional checklist of the continental African Orchidaceae. 5. Vanilloideae. Pol. Bot. J. 49. 123-134 Kurzweil H. 1987 Developmental studies in orchid flowers I: Epidendroid and vandoid species. Nordic J. Bot. 7. 427-42.