Satyrium is a genus in the Orchidaceae family found in Africa, India, and China. These are terrestrial orchids with underground tubers and a lip that forms a hood. Satyrium species are deciduous, winter or summer growing. The tubers are annually replaced. Oval shaped leaves can be flat on the ground or in a raised spreading position. More information about this genus can be found on this web page entitled SA Orchids: Satyrium
Satyrium bicorne (L.) Thunb. grows on sandy flats, lower hills, and slopes in the Western Cape from the Gifberg to the Peninsula and along the south coast to Knysna. It grows from 30 to 50 cm and has 2 prostrate oval basal leaves, sheathing stem leaves, and greenish yellow flowers with brown to reddish spots. Sepals and petals are partly fused and united to the lip; the lip is helmet shaped and the spurs are slender and curved. This species is strongly spice scented and flowers from September to November. Photo taken by Bob Rutemoeller in Silvermine, Southwestern Cape.
Satyrium carneum (Dryand.) Sims is a winter rainfall species that grows among dune vegetation, in coastal fynbos on hills and ridges, on moist to dry sands and limestone from the Cape Peninsula to Riversdale. It grows from 30 to 70 cm with 2 basal leaves and sheathing stem leaves and pale to deep rose pink, rarely white flowers. Sepals and petal are separate, tips curved down, and the lip helmet shaped. Flowering is from September to November. Photos from Cameron McMaster taken in the Overberg.
Satyrium cristatum Sond. is a summer rainfall species found in moist or marshy grassland up to 2400 m from the Eastern Cape to Limpopo. It grows from 14 to 40 cm with spreading basal leaves and a dense slender spike of greenish to creamy white flowers blotched and streaked red. Flowering is from January to February. Photo from Cameron McMaster taken at Aurora Peak, Maclear.
Satyrium erectum Sw. is a widespread winter rainfall species found on dry sandstone, and clay flats from Namaqualand to the southwestern Eastern Cape. Growing to about 30 cm, it has 2 ovate-elliptic basal leaves that are flat on the ground and 11 to 37 sweetly smelling pink flowers in a dense raceme. Flowers have darker tinges and spots on the petals. Photos taken by Bob Rutemoeller and Mary Sue Ittner in the Bontebok National Park, near Villiersdorp and between Nieuwoudtville and Vanrhynsdorp.
Satyrium ligulatum Lindl. has a wide distribution in South Africa in both the winter rainfall and the summer rainfall areas. It is found in coastal scrub, woodlands and moist to marshy flats among grass at elevations of 70 to 2000 m in full sun. It is winter-growing, blooming in spring with yellowish-green to white fragrant flowers that are tinged purple. Plants vary in size from small to mid size and number of flowers with 1 to 4 lower ground hugging leaves grading up the stem. Photos by Cameron McMaster. The second one was taken at Naude's Nek.
Satyrium longicauda Lindl. is a summer rainfall species that grows in grassland, rocky areas and marshes from the Southern Cape of South Africa to tropical Africa. It has white to pink sweetly scented flowers in a dense spike. Photos #1-4 were taken by Cameron McMaster. The first three photos were taken at Mt. Kubusie. Photo 4 was taken at Satansnek Pass. Photos 5-6 were taken January 2012 by Christopher Whitehouse at Gaika's Kop.
Satyrium longicolle Lindl. is a species that grows in both the summer and winter rainfall areas from the Southern to Eastern Cape of South Africa grows on damp sandstone slopes. It is winter growing, blooming late spring, often after a fire. Flowers are in a dense spike, white to pink with darker streaks. Photos by Cameron McMaster.
Satyrium neglectum Schltr. is a summer rainfall species usually found scattered in small colonies in moist grassland from the Eastern Cape of South Africa to Tanzania. It has two basal leaves grading into floral bracts that are strongly deflexed, jade green, suffused pink. The white to dark or light pink medium to small sweetly scented flowers are in a dense spike adjacent to the leaves. Flowering is from January to February. Photographs by Cameron McMaster taken in the Eastern Cape. Photographs by Cameron McMaster taken in the Eastern Cape. Photos 1-2 were taken at Mt. Thomas, photos 3-4 at Naude's Nek and photos 5-6 near Tordoon.
Satyrium odorum Sond. is a winter rainfall species often found among rocks in damp places from the west coast of the Western Cape to Knysna. It has broad fleshy leaves, with the lower two spreading on the ground and pale yellow or greenish strongly scented hooded flowers. It flowers August to November. Photos taken near Jacobsbaai by Cameron McMaster.
Satyrium parviflorum Sw. is known as the Devil Orchid. It is found in moist or dry grassland, among rocks from the southern Cape of South Africa to the Eastern Cape and tropical Africa. It has yellowish green small, densely packed flowers, is variable in size. Photos #1-3 by Cameron McMaster in the Eastern Cape. Photo 4 was taken at Satansnek Pass. Photo #5 and #6 taken by Mary Sue Ittner and Bob Rutemoeller at Naude's Nek.
Satyrium sphaerocarpum Lindl. is found in moist grassland from the Eastern Cape of South Africa to Mozambique. This tuberous plant grows to 50 cm. It has large white to cream few or many flowers that are streaked dark reddish brown to purple. Photos by Cameron McMaster taken at Dohne Peak and Maclear and by Mary Sue Ittner taken at Maclear.
Satyrium stenopetalum Lindl. is found in the winter and summer rainfall areas in open stony marshy or dry places on coastal forests from Knysna to Humansdorp at elevations of 50 to 700 m. Growing to about 34 cm, it has erect leathery, stiff leaves clasping a reddish stem. The fragrant flowers are very pale creamy or greenish-white with long spurs. Flowering is in spring, from October to December. Photos from Cameron McMaster.
Satyrium trinerve Lindl. is a summer rainfall species found on marshy ground from the Eastern Cape of South Africa to tropical Africa. Bracts are green with broad white margins and spread horizontally. Flowers are white and yellow in a dense spike. Photos by Cameron McMaster taken at Dohne Peak and Maclear.