Porpax Lindl., Edwards's Bot. Reg. 31(Misc.): 62 (1845).
Aggeianthus Wight, Icon. Pl. Ind. Orient. 5: 18 (1851).
Conchidium Griff., Not. Pl. Asiat. 3: 321 (1851).
Lichenora Wight, Icon. Pl. Ind. Orient. 5: t. 1738 (1851).
Alvisia Lindl., Fol. Orchid. 8: 1 (1859).
Stolzia Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 53: 564 (1915).
Dwarf, mat-forming epiphytic herb, rarely lithophytic; stems creeping, bearing pseudobulbs. Pseudobulbs asymmetrical ovoid, fusiform or clavate, 1–2-leaved at the apex. Leaves fleshy or leathery, spreading or erect. Inflorescence terminal on the pseudobulb, erect, 1- to many-flowered. Flowers second, somewhat campanulate, green, yellow, orange, brown or red, sometimes striped. Lateral sepals joined at the base, forming a mentum with the column-foot. Lip entire, recurved, V-shaped in cross-section, not spurred. Column-foot at least three times as long as the column; pollinia 8, comprising 4 large and 4 small pollinia; stigma concave, with a flap-shaped rostellum in front.
This genus of small creeping epiphytes was named in honour of Adolf Stolz, a German missionary who lived in southwest Tanzania for many years, and who made many important orchid collections around Tukuyu where he was based.
All the species of Porpax (Stolzia) are small, creeping or upright epiphytes which produce chains of small pseudobulbs that appear to creep over the surface of branches and rocks. Each pseudobulb bears one or two leathery leaves at its apex, and an inflorescence arises between them. Ten species have been described from Tanzania but only one from Kenya. It is the most widespread of all the species and is easily recognized by its single bright red or orange flower that is almost stem less and borne between the leaves. From a little distance the plants resemble a mossy carpet and are sometimes con- fused with small plants of Peperomia species when not in flower.
Small mats of the creeping stems of this orchid are not difficult to establish on a piece of bark or tree fern fibre. However, they need cool, humid conditions and are not easy to keep alive if there is continuous hot weather. They are not difficult to maintain under glass in cool conditions. They respond well to frequent misting and thrive in a shady position.
World Checklist of Monocotyledons. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://www.kew.org/wcsp/monocots/ accessed 05/07/2020
Bibliography and References:
Cribb PJ. 1978 A revision of Stolzia (Orchidaceae). Kew Bull. 33. (1): 79 - 89 (1978)
Cribb PJ. 1979 New or little known orchids from East Africa. Kew Bull. 34. (2): 321 - 340 (1979)
Cribb PJ. 1981 A new species of Stolzia (Orchidaceae) from Tanzania. Kew Bull. 36. (3): 639 - 641 (1981)
Droissart, V., Simo, M., Sonké, B., Cawoy, V. & Stévart, T. (2009) Le genre Stolzia (Orchidaceae) en Afrique centrale avec deux nouveataxons. Adansonia, sér. 3, 31(1), 25-40.
Pottinger M. 1982 African orchids. Plectrelminthus to Ypsilopus. Orchid Rev. 90. (1070): 384-385 (1982)
Stevart T, Cribb P. 2004 New species and records of Orchidaceae from Sao Tome and Principe. Kew Bull. 59. (1): 77-86 (2004)
Williamson G. 1976 Some interesting miniature Epiphytes. Orchid Rev. 84. (996)
Williamson G. 1980 Studies in Orchidaceae from South Central Africa. (Studies van Orchidaceae vanaf Suid Sentraal Afrika.) J.S. Afr. Bot. 46. (4): 329 - 342 (1980)
Phylogenetics and systematics of Eria and related genera (Orchidaceae: Podochileae), Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society, 2018, 186, 179–201.
Flora of Tropical East Africa: Orchidaceae, Part 2: Tribes Neottieae and Epidendreae, p.p.