AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Neotinea lactea (Poir.) R.M.Bateman, Pridgeon & M.W.Chase, Lindleyana 12: 122 (1997).
Homotypic Names:
Orchis lactea Poir. in J.B.A.M.de Lamarck, Encycl. 4: 594 (1798).
Orchis tridentata var. lactea (Poir.) Rchb.f. in H.G.L.Reichenbach, Icon. Fl. Germ. Helv. 13-14: 24 (1850).
Orchis tridentata subsp. lactea (Poir.) K.Richt., Pl. Eur. 1: 266 (1890).
Odontorchis lactea (Poir.) D.Tyteca & E.Klein, J. Eur. Orch. 40: 544 (2008).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Orchis acuminata Desf., Fl. Atlant. 2: 318 (1799).
Orchis corsica Viv., Fl. Cors. Prodr.: 16 (1824).
Orchis variegata var. acuminata (Desf.) Boiss., Voy. Bot. Espagne 2: 593 (1842).
Orchis tenoreana Guss., Fl. Sicul. Syn. 2: 533 (1844).
Orchis hanrici Hénon, Ann. Soc. Agr. Puy 9: 722 (1846).
Orchis hanrii Jord., Observ. Pl. Nouv. 1: 27 (1846).
Orchis tridentata var. acuminata (Desf.) Rchb.f. in H.G.L.Reichenbach, Icon. Fl. Germ. Helv. 13-14: 25 (1850).
Orchis tridentata var. tenoreana (Guss.) Rchb.f. in H.G.L.Reichenbach, Icon. Fl. Germ. Helv. 13-14: 25 (1850).
Orchis tridentata f. acuminata (Desf.) Soó, Bot. Arch. 23: 43 (1928).
Orchis tridentata f. tenoreana (Guss.) Soó, Bot. Arch. 23: 43 (1928).
Orchis lactea var. hanrici (Hénon) Maire & Weiller, Fl. Afrique N. 6: 298 (1959 publ. 1960).
Orchis tridentata var. hanrici (Hénon) Maire & Weiller, Fl. Afrique N. 6: 298 (1959 publ. 1960).
Orchis tridentata var. hanrii (Jord.) Sigunov, Glasn. Prir. Mus. Beogradu, Ser. B, Biol. Nauke 10: 22 (1977).
Neotinea corsica (Viv.) W.Foelsche, J. Eur. Orch. 34: 876 (2002).
Orchis lactea subsp. corsica (Viv.) Kreutz, Orchidee (Hamburg) 57: 103 (2006).
Neotinea lactea subsp. corsica (Viv.) Kreutz, Ber. Arbeitskreis. Heimische Orchid. 24(1): 162 (2007).
Neotinea lactea var. corsica (Viv.) P.Delforge, Naturalistes Belges 92: 203 (2011).
Orchis lactea subsp. minuscula A.Alibertis, Orchidophile (Deuil-la-Barre) 191: 286 (2011).
Neotinea lactea f. minuscula (A.Alibertis) P.Delforge, Naturalistes Belges 93: 242 (2012).
Neotinea lactea f. hanrii (Jord.) P.Delforge, Naturalistes Belges 96(Orchid. 28): 16 (2015).
Description:
The common name of this orchid refers to the colour of the flowers, which are a pale milky colour although the lip is densely marked with dark dots and streaks. Neotinea lactea is a small plant growing only to around 25cm tall. It has 3-5 erect basal leaves which are pale green and unmarked, and there are further small bract-like leaves sheathing the lower stem. The inflorescence is dense and the number of flowers is very variable. The flower sepals and petals are marked with dark green veins and form a hood above the lip. The lip is deeply lobed, usually a creamy colour and marked with dark pink spots. The central lobe is convex and bent backwards.
Etymology:
Name refers to the milky colour of its flowers.
History:
It was first described by Poiret from Algeria in 1798 and originally grouped with the Neotinea genus before then being reclassified as an Orchis.
Habitat:
Grows in open grassy places, in scrub and abandoned farmland.
Flowering times:
End of February to tbe beginning of April.
Distribution:
WC. & E. Medit.
References:
Pierre Delforge (2005) Orchids of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East; A&C Black
Images:
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