AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Acrolophia Pfitzer in H.G.A.Engler & K.A.E.Prantl (eds.), Nat. Pflanzenfam. 2(6): 133 (1888).
Description:
Sepals subequal, free, subconnivent or spreading, the lateral not adnate to the foot of the column. Petals like the sepals or a little broader, similar in colour or sometimes paler. Lip continuous with the base of the column, usually narrow at the base, 3-lobed or sometimes entire above, generally saccate or spurred at the base, or without a spur in A. ustulata; side lobes suberect; front lobe expanded or sometimes concave; disc variously papillose or crested. Column short, clavate, not produced into a foot at the base; anther-bed oblique, erect, entire. Anther terminal, operculate, incumbent, semiglobose, conical or 2-horned above, imperfectly 2-celled; pollinia 4, ovoid, united in pairs, affixed to a broad stipes and gland. Capsule ovoid or oblong, with prominent thickened angles. Terrestrial herbs; stems leafy at the base, not thickened into rhizomes; roots thick and fleshy; leaves in a more or less distichous basal tuft, narrow, coriaceous and persistent, plicate, conduplicate at the base; scapes or peduncles terminal, erect, usually loosely paniculate, racemose in A. ustulata; flowers small or medium-sized, usually lax; bracts small or narrow.
Type species: not selected.
Notes:
Differs from Eulophia in the terminal inflorescence, leafy stems, which are not thickened into tubers; the very fleshy roots, and the coriaceous persistent leaves. It includes Eulophia section Desciscentes, Lindl. Gen. and Sp. Orch. 184.
Distribution:
SW. Cape Prov. to KwaZulu-Natal
Cultivation:
Not in cultivation.
Species:

Acrolophia bolusii Rolfe SW. Cape Prov.
Acrolophia capensis (P.J.Bergius) Fourc. SW. & S. Cape Prov.
Acrolophia cochlearis (Lindl.) Schltr. & Bolus S. Cape Prov. to KwaZulu-Natal.
Acrolophia lamellata (Lindl.) Pfitzer SW. Cape Prov.
Acrolophia lunata (Schltr.) Schltr. & Bolus S. Cape Prov.
Acrolophia micrantha (Lindl.) Pfitze SW. & S. Cape Prov.
Acrolophia ustulata (Bolus) Schltr. & Bolus SW. Cape Prov.

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 26.08.2013
Bibliography and References:
McCrocken P. 2005 Acrolophias on Slangkop. Orchid Rev. 113. 104-107
Kurze O, Kurze H. 1990 Acrolophia ustulata: the "Black orchid". S. Afr. Orchid J. 21. (2): 39-40 (1990)
Hall AV. 1989 Acrolophia ustulata. South-western and southern Cape Province. Orchidaceae. Flow. Pl. Afr. 50. (2): pl. 1994 (5p.) (1989)
Linder HP. 1988 Taxonomic notes on some orchids from the south-western Cape Province, South Africa. S. Afr. J. Bot. 54. (4): 496-500 (1988)
Schelpe EA. 1972 A review of the genus Acrolophia Pfitzer. S. Afr. Orchid J., June-July. 6-7 (1972)