AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Ossiculum P.J.Cribb & Laan, Kew Bull. 41: 823 (1986).
Description.
As far as I know, the genus Ossiculum is not in general cultivation, although it must have been grown in Holland as living material was used to prepare the illustration for the type description. However, it is so little known, so distinctive and potentially important, that it is worth including here.
The genus Ossiculum was established in 1986by P. J. Cribb and F. M. van der Laan to accommodate a plant collected by H. J.Beentjie in Cameroon. The name is given in his honor; beentjie is Dutch for "a smallbone," and ossiculum is the Latin equivalent.
The genus is monotypic; it does not seem to be very closely related to any other African representative of the tribe Vandeae, the nearest relative being Caiyptrochilum. Its most striking feature is the color, bright orange. While several African angraecoid orchids have rather dull orange flowers, for example, some species of Chamaeangis, Cribbia, Diaphananthe, and Tridactyle, none has such brightly colored flowers. Bright orange flowers do occur, however, in two species of Microcoelia from Madagascar, M. elliotii and M. gilpinae. The column is distinctive, with an elongated, pincer like rostellum; there are two pollinia, with one slender stipes and one large, semicircular viscidium.
Distribution:
WC. Trop. Africa
Species:

Ossiculum aurantiacum P.J.Cribb & Laan, SW. Cameroon.

Bibliography and References:
Arends JC, Van der Laan FM. 1986 Cytotaxonomy of the Vandeae. Lindleyana. 1. 33-41. 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. Gasson P, Cribb PJ. 1986 the leaf anatomy of Ossiculum aurantiacum Cribb & van der Laan (Orchidaceae: Vandoideae). Kew Bull. 41. 827-32. Laan FM van der, Cribb PJ. 1986 Ossiculum (Orchidaceae), a new genus from Cameroun. Kew Bull., 41. (4): 823-826 (1986). 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 21.03.2017