AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Cryptopus Lindl., Bot. Reg. 10: t. 817 (1824).
Description:
Plants epiphytic with very thin, branching stems. Inflorescence penetrating the sheath, several flowered and very loose. Sepals free; petals free, diversely lobed or lobate; labellum attached in front of the spur oriface. with the limbus embracing the column basally, diversely 3-lobed. Column short, auricles well developed median tongue of the rostellum longer than the auricies; anther flattened, pollina 2 each provided with its own retracted cauda, inserted in a small cupule, bearing 2 distinct lateral retinaculum apically.
Notes:
The genus Cryptopus was established in1824 by John Lindley in the Botanical Register (sub tabula 817), with Cryptopus elatus (known then as Angraecum elatum Thou.) as the type species. The name is derived from the Greek kryptos, meaning hidden, and pous (foot) and refers to the fact that the stipe and viscidium are concealed. Cryptopus is one of 19 genera in subtribe Angraecinae (Dressler, 1993).
Distribution:
W. Indian Ocean
Cultivation:
Species of Cryptopus are grown as epiphytes. In the wild, they behave like miniature climbers, attaching themselves to their supports, tree trunks ar rocks, by their roars in the same way as Oeonia. In cultivation, plants should be allowed to grow freely, as they do in the wild. They can be grown in pots, but the roars are intolerant of compost and the pot serves mainly to support the plants.
The best method of growing Cryptopusis mounted on a cork slab, so that the roots can wander without constraint. A little coconut fibre can be added around the roots to encourage growth, but the long, aerial roots will attach themselves naturally to the mount. Once established Cryptopus species should be given similar conditions to Angraecum.
Temperature, humidity and exposure.
Plants are usually grown in intermediate conditions, with daytime temperatures of 18-25°C in summer and 18-20°C in winter, and night temperatures of 15-18°C in summer and 13-15°C in winter. The temperature should not fall below 13°C. The relative humidity should be 60-80%; all year round.
Cryptopus species need medium to strong light. C. elatus needs good light to flower; if the light is to low, it will grow but not flower. In my own glasshouse, I grow this species with Cattleya. In cultivation, it flowers in May-June and in the wild, in November - December. In summer, 50% shade is advisable, but in winter, shade is only necessary in very sunny areas. H. Herdon (1997) says that Cryptopus paniculatus grows vigorously in an inter-mediate glasshouse once it has become established on its mount. C. dissectus and C. bracbiatus are rare species, poorly known in cultivation, but they should grow in intermediate conditions, like the other species. Plants should be misted twice a day in summer, making sure that the roars are thoroughly wetted. In winter, frequency of misting depends on temperature, but on average, every two days is advisable.
Watering, fertilizing and ventilation:
In spring and summer, plants should be: watered freely every morning and sprinkled once or twice in the course of the day. In winter, they should only be sprinkled as early as possible in the morning, but make sure the leaves do not dry out, they should always be firm to the touch. Plants can become dehydrated very quickly ins artificial heat. In both summer and winter, good ventilation is important so that humid air can circulate round the plants. Fertilizer should be applied while the plants are growing, between May and November.
Species:

Cryptopus brachiatus H.Perrier NE. Madagascar.
Cryptopus dissectus (Bosser) Bosser Mascarenes, E. Madagascar
Cryptopus elatus (Thouars) Lindl. Mascarenes.
Cryptopus paniculatus H.Perrier NE. Madagascar.

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 25/02/2017
Bibliography and References:
Arends JC, Van der Laan FM. 1983 Cytotaxonomy of the monopodial orchids of the African and Malagasy regions. Genetica. 62. 81-94.
Carlsward BS, Stern WL, Bytebier B. 2006 Comparative vegetative anatomy and systematics of the angraecoids (Vandeae, Orchidaceae) with an emphasis on the leafless habit. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 151. 165-218.
Cavestro W. 2004 Oeonia rosea Ridl.: une remarquable espece de Madagascar et de La Reunion. Orchidees Cult. Protect. 57. (1): 17-19 (2004) - col. illus. Anatomy and morphology. Geog=5 (KR, 200400659).
Cavestro W. 2004 Oeonia, Cryptopus and Neobathiea: three angraecoid genera. 1. The genus Oeonia Lindl. Orchid Rev. 112. (1258): 219-226, 229 (2004)
Cavestro W. 2004 The genus Cryptopus Lindl. Orchid Rev. 112. (1259): 287-291 (2004)
Cavestro W. 2005 Oeonia, Cryptopus and Neobathiea: three angraecoid genera. Part 3. The genus Neobathiea Schltr. Orchid Rev. 113. 34-38
Herndon CN. 1997 Colorful Angraecoids Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. Aug., 816-823.
Herndon CN. 1997 Colorful angraecoids. Orchids 66. (8): 816-823 (1997)