Pterygodium vermiferum (Coryciinae), a new, autonomously self-pollinating, oil-secreting orchid from the Western Cape of South Africa
Pterygodium vermiferum, a new orchid belonging to the subtribe Coryciinae, is described from the coastal region in the southwestern part of the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa. It is most similar to Pterygodium volucris (L.f.) Sw. and differs most obviously in the possession of several remarkable long twisted appendages arising from the rostellum and in having a cucullate rather than tubular galea. The flowers open very briefly before wilting and setting seed by autonomous self-pollination. The morphological autapomorphies that define the species are interpreted as adaptations for autonomous self-pollination in a clade that is ancestrally pollinated by oil-collecting Rediviva bees. The description of P. vermiferum requires that another pollination independent Pterygodium taxon (P. newdigateae Bolus var. cleistogamum Bolus) also be awarded species status. © 2008 SAAB.