AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Kylicanthe Descourv., Stévart & Droissart, Phytotaxa 373: 101 (2018).
Description:
Epiphytic perennial herbs. Roots at the base of the stem, 2–6 mm in diameter. Stem with a few leaves in a fan, up to 60 mm long. Leaves imbricate, distichous, generally no more than ten, slightly conduplicate, oblong, linear to obovate, sometimes slightly falcate, with entire margins, bilobed at apex, generally unequally bilobed, 13–160 × 6–27 mm. Inflorescences emerging at the base of the stem, 1–20-flowered, nodes single-flowered, up to 300 mm long; bracts amplexicaul, 1–6 mm long. Flowers white or green, greenish, yellow, yellowish, beige, resupinate or non-resupinate, 6–15 mm in diameter; sepals, petals and labellum free; dorsal sepal entire, elliptic or lanceolate, or suborbicular to orbicular, margins entire, 3.0–8.6 × 1.2–4.1 mm; lateral sepals entire, elliptic to linear, sometimes lanceolate, margins entire, 3.2–8.1 × 1.0–3.7 mm; petals elliptic to linear, sometimes lanceolate, margins entire, erose to slightly fringed, 2.8–8.0 × 1.0–2.8 mm; lip entire, elliptic, cordate or triangular, margins entire or erose, with an inconspicuous callus, 2.5–8.7 × 1.5–5.0 mm; spur always present, 5–24 mm long; ovary and pedicel 4.0–9.0 × 0.7–1.5 mm. Column 1.0– 5.0 × 1.0–3.5 mm; stigmatic cavity cup-shaped, margins more or less winged, 3 veins generally visible; rostellum triangular and bifid; pollinia 2, spherical; stipes 2 spatulate, completely separate or more or less connate along their inner margins, or 1 obcordate, margins clearly erose to fringed, 0.8–1.6 mm long, connected to a single calceiform or pisiform viscidium. Fruits ventricose, shortly pedicellate.
Etymology:
The genus name comes from the ancient Greek ‘kylix’, a type of wine-drinking cup with a broad and relatively shallow body, and from ‘anthos’ meaning flower, for the broad cup-shaped stigmatic cavity of the flower. The ending ‘anthe’ also alludes to Diaphananthe, the genus in which formerly some of the species were included.
Habitat:
100–3,000 m
Key to the genus Kylicanthe Descourv., Stévart & Droissart
Notes:
This new genus is most similar morphologically to Diaphananthe (including Chamaeangis) in the structure of the rostellum and pollinarium but differs in the large and cup-shaped stigmatic cavity with large margins more or less winged; the pollinarium consists of a single calceiform viscidium and 1 or 2 stipes with fringed margins; it has distinctive ventricose fruits.
Distribution:
Kylicanthe is well distributed in Tropical Africa, and the Guineo-Congolian region (White 1979) appears to be its centre of diversity, since five of the seven recognized species occur in the area.  However, this biogeographical pattern can still be revised as we suspect that new species of this new genus may be found in poorly sampled regions of East Africa.
References:
A new genus of angraecoid orchids (Orchidaceae: Angraecinae) with highly distinctive pollinaria morphology, including three new species from tropical West and Central Africa in Phytotaxa · October 2018