AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Neobolusia Schltr. in Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 20, Beibl. 50: 5 (1895).
Synonyms:
Dracomonticola H.P.Linder & Kurzweil, Willdenowia 25: 229 (1995).
Description:
Plants terrestrial, perennating with testicular tubers; stem to 500 mm tall, slender, erect, green, glabrous; leaves basal and cauline: basal leaves 1- 3, sessile, spreading, elliptic to oblong, acute; cauline leaves sheathing, reduced, grading into the floral bracts. Inflorescences lax to fairly dense, to 150 mm long; bracts sessile, ovate-lanceolate, about the same size to 1/3larger than the ovaries. Flowers few to many, resupinate, sepals green, petals white to pink. Sepals subequal, narrowly elliptic, acute. Petals ovate, obtuse. Lip suberect from a curved base, spathulate, blade ovate, basal callus always present. Anther erect, thecae paral-lel; pollinia sectile, attached by short caudicles to separate viscidia; rostellum erect, 3-1obed, central lobe reduced, lateral lobes bearing the viscidia; stigma tripulvinate, with a small midlobe. Capsule narrowly oblong.
Type species: Neobolusia tysonii (Bolus) Schltr.
Habitat:
A small genus of three species found in montane grasslands in southern and south-central Africa, but absent from the winter-rainfall region.
Distribution:
A genus of 4 species in east tropical Africa and South Africa.
Cultivation:
Not in cultivation.
Notes.
This genus is similar to Brachycorythis, from which it can be distinguished by the presence of a lip callus. Neobolusia may be a specialized off-shoot of Brachycorythis, which has evolved in adaptation to alpine grasslands. The reduction of the spurs which has taken place within Brachycorythis seems to have reached an advanced stage in Neobolusia where the lip hypochile is shallowly saccate (Kurzweil & Weber 1991).
Species:

Neobolusia ciliata Summerh. E. Zimbabwe to W. Mozambique.
Neobolusia stolzii Schltr. Tanzania to Zimbabwe.
Neobolusia stolzii var. bombyliiflora P.J.Cribb Tanzania.
Neobolusia stolzii var. glabripetala Summerh. Zimbabwe (Mt. Inyangani).
Neobolusia stolzii var. stolzii. Tanzania to Zambia.
Neobolusia tysonii (Bolus) Schltr. S. Africa.

World Checklist of Monocotyledons. (DATE). The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://www.kew.org/wcsp/monocots/ accessed 1/16/2010
Bibliography and References:
Cribb PJ. 1979 New or little known orchids from East Africa. Kew Bull. 34. (2): 321 - 340 (1979)
Kidson S, Fletcher E. 1991 Our heritage: Neobolusia tysonii (H.Bolus) Schltr. S. Afr. Orchid J. 22. (1): 20-21 (1991)
Kurzweil H, Weber A. 1991 Floral morphology of southern African Orchideae. I. Orchidinae. Nordic J. Bot. 11. 155-78.