Polystachya rivae Schweinf. 1894 SECTION Caulescentes Photo by Bob Campbell and the Orchids of Kenya ,

FragrancePart shade Cool ColdLATEWinterSpring THROUGHSummer

Common Name Riva's Polystachya [Italian Original Collector of species Late 1800's]

Flower Size 1" [2.5 cm]

Found in Eritrea, Sudan and Ethiopia on trunks and small limbs of trees in gallery forests along streams and on scattered trees in grasslands at elevations of 1350 to 2490 meters as as miniature to just medium sized, cool to cold growing epiphyte with erect to pendulous, clustered, terete stems enveloped by basal, tubular sheaths and carrying 2 to 5, linear, glossy olive green above, prominently veined beneath leaves that blooms in the winter, spring and summer on a simple to weakly branched, pubescent, 1.2 to 7" [3 to 17.5 cm] long, densely many flowered inflorescence partially enveloped by imbricate, slightly bilaterally compressed sheaths and carries fragrant flowers smelling of Lily of the Valley.

Similar to Polystachya bennettiana but differs in having the lip as wide as long.


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Die Orchideen Band 1B lieferung 23 1393 - 1456 Brieger 1990 ; Field Guide to the Orchids of Ethiopia Demissew, Cribb & Rasmussen 2004 photo fide;