AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Subtribe Habenariinae Benth. J. Linn. Soc. Bot. 18: 288. 1881.

Description:

Plants with underground storage organs of different kind, tuber or tubers, or elongate to short and fleshy rhizome. Leaves basal, almost radical, or cauline, spread to straight. Inflorescence few- to many-flowered.

Flowers resupinate or not, large and showy to small, tiny, inconspicuous. Lip usually 3-lobed, with spur of various size. Stigma 2-lobed, convex, lobes confluent only at the base, usually stalked with the most apical parts fertile, forming so-called stigmaphores. The midlobe of stigma completely transformed into the rostellum.

Rostellum 3-lobed, the central lobe often dome-like, wedged between locules; both lateral lobes elongated into rostellophores, protruding in front of the gynostemium. Viscidia usually massive, firm. Anther erect, bent back to arcuate, often narrow and slender, frequently only the apical part fertile, i.e. producing massulae; basal parts elongate forming antherophores, becoming connected with the rostellophores.

Caudicles usually ~very long, ribbon-like. Auricles stalked or wing- like projections, occasionally sessile.