Habenaria alata Hook., Exot. Fl. 3: t. 169, 1826; Kraenzlin in Engl.
Bot. Jahrb. 16: 219, 1892; Rolfe in Kew Bull. 279, 1893; Duss in
Ann. Inst. Col. Marseille 3: 607, 1897; Ames, Oreb. 4: 273, 1910;
Stehle, Fl. Descr. Antill. Fr. 1: 65, 1939; Schultes in Amer. Orch. Soc.
Bull. 25: 390, 1956. - Fig. 1.
Type: St. Vincent. Coll. Guilding s.n.! (K).
Plants erect, up to 70 cm. tall. Stem leafy, completely enclosed by leaf
sheaths. Leaves suberect, spreading, rather thin in texture, lanceolate or
narrowly ovate-lanceolate, acute to subacuminate, those toward the upper
part of inflorescence narrower, up to 15 cm. long and 2 cm. wide; those
below the inflorescence small and bract-like. Inflorescence racemose, subdensely
many-flowered, up to 15 cm. long. Bracts narrowly ovate-lanceolate
to linear-lanceolate, acuminate, commonly longer than pedicellate
ovaries, decreasing in size toward apex of inflorescence, the longest up to
3 cm. long. Flowers greenish yellow. Dorsal sepal broadly ovate with
cuspidate apex, concave, margins distinctly papillose, especially below the
cuspidate tip, up to 8 mm. long and 6 mm. wide. Lateral sepals obliquely
ovate to ovate-lanceolate or triangular-lanceolate, cuspidate, margins distinctly
papillose, up to 8 mm. long and 4 mm. wide. Petals rather fleshy,
obliquely lanceolate to subfalcate-lanceolate, acute on anterior margin
provided with a small dentiform auricle at base, shorter than the dorsal
sepal. Lip fleshy, porrect, entire, linear-ligulate to linear-lanceolate, obscurely
dentate at base on either side, up to 8 mm. long. Spur linear or
linear-subclavate, arcuate, up to 12 mm. long. Ovary prominently winged
at maturity, short pedicellate, up to 15 mm. long.
Flowers from August to December.
GENERAL DISTRIBUTION: Central America, South America, Greater
Antilles, Trinidad, Tobago.
DISTRIBUTION IN LESSER ANTILLES: Antigua!, Guadeloupe!, Dominica, Martinique!, St. Vincent!, Grenada!.