(pronounced: sah-TEER-ee-um)


Diseae subtribe Satyriinae. Schlechter’s treatment of the genus dating from 1901 has been followed by subsequent authors. He divided Satyrium into seven sections based on whether dimorphic shoots are present, the shape and size of the lip and spurs, and f

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Terrestrials arising from tubers. Stems erect, leafy, unbranched, sometimes dimorphic with leafy sterile shoots separate from the flowering shoots. Leaves sessile, few and basal or many and cauline, graduated in size from the base. Inflorescences erect, scapose racemes, the floral bracts prominent. Flowers few to many, not resupinate. Sepals and petals fused at the base, with recurved apices. Lip unlobed, sessile, globose-saccate forming a hood, with a pair of retrorse, short or long spurs +/- parallel to the ovary. Column long, with a terminal, hooded stigma, with the anthers hanging from lower surface separated by a three-lobed rostellum; pollinia 2, granular, attached by caudicles to two distinct viscidia.


From the Greek satyrion, meaning man-orchis, in allusion to the Satyri, sylvan demigods of Greek mythology.


A genus of about 100 species mostly distributed in southern Africa with a few species in Asia as far east as Java. Species-level taxonomy is confused in Satyrium by apparent cryptic sexual dimorphism, the plants being functionally megasporous (“female”) o

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Chen, S.-C. 1979. Notes on bisexual and unisexual forms of Satyrium ciliatum Ldl. Acta Phytotax. Sinica 17:54-60.

Duckworth, A. 1997. Jewels of Veld and Vlei, no. 1, Satyrium macrophyllum. S. Afr. Orchid J. 28(3):92.

Fibeck, W. and V. Phiri 1997. A natural hybrid from Zimbabwe, Satyrium longicauda ? neglectum. S. Afr. Orchid J. 28(2):51-52.

Garside, S. 1922. The pollination of Satyrium bicallosum Thunb. Ann. Bolus Herb. 3:147-154.

Hall, A. V. 1982. Revision of the southern African species of Satyrium. Contr. Bolus Herb. 10:1-142.

Johnson, S. 1996. Pollination of Satyrium species, latest findings. S. Afr. Orchid J. 27(3):70-73.

Johnson, S. D. and van Ede, G. 1993. The pollination of Satyrium hallackii at Verloren Valei. S. Afr. Orchid J. 24:124.

Kidson, S. and E. Fletcher 1997. Satyrium hallackii ssp. ocellatum (H. Bolus) A. V. Hall. S. Afr. Orchid J. 28(2):56-57.

Raitt, L. M. 1986. High orchid densities and a hybrid Satyrium at Blue Downs near Blackheath, South Africa. S. African J. Bot. 52:189-191.

Wodrich, K. 2000. Sensational Satyriums. Orchids 69(1):2-11.