AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Neobathiea Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 33: 369 (1925).
Synonyms:
Bathiea Schltr., Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 33(2): 440 (1915), nom. illeg.
Description:
Epiphytes of the branches, resembling Aeranthes, however the spur oriface is entirely against the gynostemium, the back edge of the oriface joined to the column at a certain height. Labellum often trilobed, subarticulate in front to the spur oriface; column short, projecting above the auricles and their middles, 2 arms descending from the column to the labellum which enclose the spur oriface like a fork: median lobe of the rostellum always obvious, thin and wide. generally shorter than the auricies or rarely slightly longerr; stigma large and deep, running to the spur oriface; pollina similarly constructed to the Aeranthes, caudicel retracted, incented into a cupule with 2 distinct retinaculum, transparent and slightly adhesive.
The type species:
Neobathiea perrieri (Schltr.) Schltr.
Distribution:
Comoros, Madagascar.
Notes:
Totally distinct from the Jumellea's inflorescences often several-flowered, lateral sepal and the petals not joined to the column (this aspect is not known in Jumellea), labellum almost always trilobed and subarticulate in front of the spur oriface, finally the arm of the column not arising from the base of the column foot, instead from the center; from Aeranthes by the column foot which is more coniform, column arm and the spur are reduced, not widely hollowed; and by the 2 median lobes of the rostellum, which are always present and well developed.
The Genus Neobathiea was established in 1925 by Rudolf Schlechter in honour of French botanist H Perrier de la Bathie.
Cultivation:
Species of Neobathiea require conditions similar to those enjoyed by most species of Aerangis and Jumella (Cavestro, 1980, 2001).Neobathiea grandidieriana, Neobathiea perrieri and Neobathiea spatulata can be grown mounted or in a narrow pot with very free-draining mixture of one third each of coarse pine bark, wood charcoal and clay or pumice pellets (Lecoufle,2001). For Neobathiea perrieri, Hillerman and Holst advise a very open mixture of osmunda fibre and sphagnum(Hillerman & Holst, 1986). Neobathiea hirtula and Neobathiea keraudrenae are probably better grown mounted. For mounting, tie plants to a bark slab with the roots covered with coconut fibre to retain moisture until they become attached.
Temperature and exposure.
The most suitable temperatures are those of an intermediate glasshouse -in summer, 18-25°c during the day and 15-18°c at night; in winter18-20°c by day and 12-15°c at night. If the winter temperature falls to 5-8°c, there is a high risk that the plants will die. In summer, Neobathiea species can survive temperatures of over 25°c as long as the relative humidity is at least 70%. In summer, 50% shade is necessary, but in winter, shade is only needed in very sunny regions. All shading should be removed in autumn because good light helps the new growths to mature and encourages flowering.
Watering and feeding.
Water plants freely in spring and summer, keeping relative humidity at about 60-70%. It is best to water in the morning, never in the evening, to reduce the risk of rot. Sprinklers are strongly recommended in the mornings at the hottest time of year, but should never run after midday, so that the plants are dry by nightfall. In winter, watering should be reduced and plants can be sprayed early in the morning in clear weather.
Good air movement is important both in summer and winter. Neobathiea perrieri is a more difficult species; while the plants need to be kept dry in winter, the leaves must not become dehydrated and need careful spraying. Dilute fertilizer should be applied only while plants are growing and flowering. Let them rest from December to February.
Species:

Neobathiea comet-halei Hermans & P.J.Cribb Madagascar
Neobathiea grandidierana (Rchb.f.) Garay Comoros, Madagascar.
Neobathiea hirtula H.Perrier Madagascar. Madagascar.
Neobathiea hirtula var. floribunda H.Perrier ex Hermans Madagascar.
Neobathiea hirtula var. hirtula. NW. Madagascar.
Neobathiea keraudrenae Toill.-Gen. & Bosser EC. Madagascar.
Neobathiea perrieri (Schltr.) Schltr. N. & NW. Madagascar.
Neobathiea spatulata H.Perrier N. Madagascar

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. 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. 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. Hillerman F. 1979 New and pleasant surprises from Madagascar. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 48. (4): 335 - 340 (1979), WCSP (2017). 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. 09.03-2017; http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/