AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Lemurella Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 33: 366 (1925).
Description:
Lemurella now contains 4 species with small green flowers. They are not unlike some of the smaller Angraecum species, but the shape of the lip is quite different, being 3-lobed, and sometimes with the mid-lobe further divided. They are also undoubtedly close to the genus Oeonia but can be separated from that genus by the flowers being held on the plant so that the lip is uppermost. Again, the lip has only 3 lobes, not 4 or 5, and is green like the rest of the flower. Bosser (1970b) pointed out that these 2 genera are difficult to tell apart, but nevertheless, at that time, he preferred to keep them separate. Perhaps new evidence in the future will suggest some changes at the generic level in this small group of plants.
Type species:
Lemurella ambongensis (Schltr.) Schltr.
Habitat:
Most species are found in mossy forest between 800 and 1200 m elevation. Lemurella culicifera is, in contrast, found growing as a trunk epiphyte en seasonally dry deciduous forest and woodland from sea level to 700.
Notes:
Lemurella is a small genus in the Madagascar region established by Rudolf Schlechter in 1925. He did not explain the derivation of the name, but Schultes and Pease (1963) suggested that it relates to a name for the ancient landmass called Lemuria of which Madagascar was once a part. It may also relate to the endemic primates, known as lemurs, which are unique to the region.
Cultivation:
All the plants are small and delicate and mostly grow as twig epiphytes. They seem to do best when attached to small sticks and hung in the roof of the glasshouse.
Distribution:
Comoros, Madagascar
Species:

Lemurella culicifera (Rchb.f.) H.Perrier Comoros, W. Madagascar.
Lemurella pallidiflora Bosser NE. Madagascar.
Lemurella papillosa Bosser N. & NE. Madagascar.
Lemurella virescens 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 10/03/2017
Bibliography and References:
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.