Polystachya mafingensis P.J.Cribb 1983 SECTION Humiles TYPE Drawing by P J Cribb

Part sunCold LATESpring EARLY Summer

Common Name The Mafinga Mountains Polystachya

Flower Size 1/2" [1.25 cm]

Found in Malawi and Zambia on exposed montain tops at elevations of 2100 to 2400 meters as a mini-mniature sized, cold growing epiphyte or lithophyte with clustered, ovoid, single noded pseudobulbs more or less enveloped by scarious leaf sheaths carrying 2 to 4, conduplicate, ligulate, acute to obtuse, falcate, lowermost much reduced, articulate to the persistent conduplicate base leaves that blooms in the late spring and early summer on a terminal, erect, peduncle bilaterally flattened and dilated above, pubescent, witha lanceolate, acuminate bract in the middle, .4 to 1.4" [1 to 3.5 cm] long, 1 to 4 flowered inflorescence carrying bright yellow, more or less horizontal, glabrous externally flowers.

Similar to the dwarf P confusa from Kenya and Tanzania and P praecipitis in northern Tanzania but this one is easily separated by the bright yellow flowers. All three species have the dwarf habit, conical mentum at an obtuse angle to the ovary and more or less straight fleshy clawed lip without a callus.


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; *Malawi Orchids vol 1 La Croix 1983 drawing fide; Flora Zambesiaca Vol 11 Orchidaceae Part 2 Pope 1998 drawing fide