Habenaria altior Rendle 1895 SECTION Replicatae Kraenzl.

Collection sheet and Photo by Jany Renz and The Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Jany Renz Herbaria Website


Common Name The Tall Habenaria

Flower Size

Found in Kenya and Tanzania in grasslands near streams at elevations of 1800 to 3700 meters as a small to large sized, cool to cold growing terrestrial with an erect, rather stout, leafy stem carrying 9 to 13, lower ones spreading, linear to lanceolate, the upper ones adpressed to the stem leaves that blooms in the spring through fall on a terminal, erect, 1.6 to 10" [4 to 25 cm] long, dense, 7 to many flowered inflorescence with bracts that are, lanceolate acuminate usually shorter than the ovary floral bracts and carrying suberect, green and white flowers.

This species can often have abnormal flowers with reduced petals or petals converted to extra stamens and a lip that is not fully developed.

Similar to H chirensis but differs in the anterior petal lobe has a finely serrate outer edge, the antheric processes are longer than the stigmatic processes and the auricles are smaller and unequally bilobed and do not form a butterfly-like figure. These flowers are also scentless and do not grow in wet situations as does H chirensis.

Synonyms Bilabrella altior (Rendle) Szlach. & Kras-Lap. 2003; Habenaria lykipiensis Rolfe 1898; Habenaria ranicolorata Rchb.f. ex Rolfe 1898

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965; Orchids of East Africa Piers 1968; Flora of Tropical East Africa Orchidsaceae Part 1 Summerhayes 1968; Orchids of Kenya Stewart & Campbell 1996; Orchidaceae of West Central Africa Vol 1 Szlatchecko etal 2010 as Bilabrella altior drawing fide