AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Brachycorythis basifoliata Summerh., Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1937: 457 (1937).
Description:
Herba terrestris, circiter 60 cm. alta, glaberrima; caulis e rhizomate repente erectus, pro rata gracilis, teres, circiter 8-foliatus. Folia 3-4 infima radicalia, suberecta vel erecto-patentia, e vagina ampla 6-8 cm. longa exorientia, lineari- vel oblongo-lanceolata, apice acutata breviter apiculato-acuminata, basi in petiolum falsum attenuata, tota (vagina inclusa) 19-48 cm. longa, 2-3-5 cm. lata; folia caulina 4, suberecta, lanceolata vel oblongo-lanceolata, basi breviter vaginantia, apice acutata, breviter acuminata, 5-5-19 cm. longa, 1-5-2-5 cm. lata, folio supremo 5-5-7-5 cm. infra inflorescentiam disposito. Inflorescentia recta, circiter 17 cm. 4-6 longa, cm. diametro, subdense multiflora; rhachis gracilis; bracteae foliaceae, lanceolatae, acuminatae, 1-5 cm. longae, infimae flores aequantes vel superantes. Flores erecto-patentes, laete purpurei; pedicelli cum ovariis 2-3 cm. longi. Sepalum intermedium erectum, elliptico-ovatum, rotundatum, 11-12 mm. longum, 6-7 mm. latum; sepala lateralia patentia, valde oblique elliptico-ovata, apice obtusa, 15 mm. longa, 9 mm. lata. Petala basi cum columna adnata, oblique oblongo-triangularia, basi latere antico valde dilatata fere cordata, apice rotundata, 11 mm. longa, juxta basin 8 mm. lata. Labellum porrectum, totum 2 cm. longum; basi utroque margine columnae adnatum, hypochilium saccatum rotundatum circiter 6 mm. longum formans; epichilium lateribus deflexis, suborbiculare, apiculatum, explanatum 14 mm. longum, 13 mm. latum, carina mediana angusta laevissima instructum. Columna circiter 6 mm. longa; antherae loculi erecti, paralleli, canalibus brevissimis ; pollinii caudiculae breves, viscidia oblongo-elliptica, 1 mm. longa; staminodia compressa, suborbicularia; rostelli lobus intermedius plicatus, cucullatus, lobi laterales auriculiformes, brevissimi; stigma e basi columnari bilobum, lobis erectis - conicis apice subulatis.
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Habitat:
Note:
The most striking features are the very long radical leaves and few, quite distant cauline ones, the whole effect thus produced being totally different from that in any other member of the genus. The nearest relative of Brachycorythis basifoliata is undoubtedly Brachycorythis kalbreyeri Rchb. f., which possesses flowers of about the same size. The column structure in these two species is almost identical, as is also the lip hypochile.
Distribution:
São Tomé, Príncipe