AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Brownleea Lindl. in Lond. J. Bot. 1: 16 (1842).
Description:
Terrestrial, rarely epiphytic or epilithic herb with perennating tubers. Tubers more or less testicular, pubescent to woolly, up to 5 cm long. Plants mostly erect, slender, 5–60 cm tall. Scape usually nitid, the base rarely sheathed in old leaf fibres. Basal sheath(s) pale brown, up to 15 cm long, obtuse to acute, often mucronate; leaves 1–3(5), scattered on the scape, erect to spreading, the blade up to 22 cm long, linear to ovate, usually nitid, more or less plicate with veins somewhat prominent. Inflorescence capitate or laxly spicate; flowers 1–numerous 5–30 mm in diameter, white to mauve or pale with darker mauve spots; bracts erect, shorter than to much longer than the ovary, acuminate, green. Dorsal sepal, 3–13 mm long, lanceolate, acuminate, falcate in side view, the apex often reflexed; a spur produced from dorsal sepal base, horizontal, then straight or down-curved, 0.5–5 cm long. Lateral sepals flat, oblique, narrowly elliptic or rarely oblong, acute. Petals fused by their backs to the dorsal sepal, oblanceolate, oblong or almost pandurate, occasionally with a basal anticous lobe, the upper margin flat or crenulate, the apex acute or rounded. Lip minute, erect from a broad base in front of the stigma, 0.1–2 mm long. Rostellum tall, erect; lateral lobes more or less lorate, concave, each with an apical viscidium; central lobe a small fleshy body at the base of the lateral lobes (except in B. coerulea, where it is finger-like); staminodes as large as or smaller than the lateral lobes. Anther horizontal, the apex usually up-curved; caudicles almost as long as the 2 pollen masses; viscidia 2, globular, separate. Stigma sessile at the base of the rostellum.
Notes:
The genus chiefly differs from Disa in having the petals more or less adnate to the dorsal sepal.
Distribution:
Cameroon to N. Kenya, S. Tanzania to S. Africa, Madagascar
Cultivation:
Not in cultivation
Species:

Brownleea coerulea Harv. ex Lindl. E. Cape Prov. to Madagascar.
Brownleea galpinii Bolus Zimbabwe to S. Africa.
Brownleea galpinii subsp. galpinii Zimbabwe, Northern Prov., KwaZulu-Natal.
Brownleea galpinii subsp. major (Bolus) H.P.Linder Lesotho, KwaZulu-Natal.
Brownleea graminicola McMurtry Mpumalanga
Brownleea macroceras Sond S. Africa (Drakensberg)
Brownleea maculata P.J.Cribb Malawi (Mt. Mulanje), Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
Brownleea mulanjiensis H.P.Linder, Malawi (Mt. Mulanje).
Brownleea parviflora Harv. ex Lindl Cameroon, to N. Kenya, S. Tanzania to S. Africa, Madagascar.
Brownleea recurvata Sond. S. & E. Cape Prov. to S. KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga.

World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://www.kew.org/wcsp/ accessed 1/01/2015
Bibliography and References:
Hennessy EF. 1981 Brownleea coerulea Harvey ex Lindley. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 50. (9): 1048 - 1050 (1981)
Kurzweil H. 1990 Floral morphology and ontogeny in Orchidaceae subtribe Disinae. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 102. 61-83.
Kurzweil H. 1993 Seed morphology in Southern African Orchidoideae (Orchidaceae). Pl. Syst. Evol. 185. 229-247. 151
Larsen MW, Peter C, Johnson SD, OlesenJM. 2008 Comparative biology of pollination systems in the African-Malagasy genus Brownleea (Brownleeinae:Orchidaceae). Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 156. (1): 65-78.
Linder HP, Kurzweil H. 1990 Floral morphology and phylogeny of the Disinae (Orchidaceae). Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 102. 287-302.
Linder HP, Kurzweil H. 1994 The phylogeny and classification of the diseae (Orchidoideae: Orchidaceae). Ann. missouri Bot. Gard. 81. 687-713.
Linder HP, Kurzweil H. 1996 Ontogeny and phylogeny of Brownleea (Orchidoideae: Orchidaceae). Nordic J. Bot. 16. (4): 345-357 (1996)
Linder HP. 1981 Taxonomic studies on the Disinae: 1. A revision of the genus Brownleea Lindl. (Taksonomiese ondersoek van die Disinae: 1. 'n Hersiening van die genus Brownleea Lindl.) . J. S. Afr. Bot. 47. (1): 13 - 48 (1981)
Linder HP. 1985 Notes on the orchids of southern tropical Africa: 1. Brownleea and Herschelia. Kew Bull., 40. (1): 125-129 (1985)