Some Holothrix species have only the lip divided into narrow, finger-like lobes. Others have the two lateral petals divided in this way as well; not the case in Holothrix incurva. Its two thin petals are singular, pointing up.
The outer whorl of tepals, the three sepals, are short, green and hairy, arranged outside these conspicuous lemon yellow inner tepals or petals. This leaves marketing duties entirely to the petals, the inner whorl of three tepals.
Holothrix flowers are presented in spikes as in this photo taken in January in the east of Lesotho (iSpot; Lowrey and Wright, 1987).
There are many orchid species with very unlike flower structures, different evolutionary solutions for achieving survival. But far behind them all lurks the prototype shape of a long lost ancestor, the first, primeval orchid that ever bloomed. Some shared attributes or elements of resemblance are retained in each relative, binding them all into one descendant family of the patriarch and matriarch that bloomed so long ago.
And who parented the both of those? Must have been plants that were not yet orchids. Such are the troubles of those picturing genesis from Genesis. Adam and Eve had only three sons...
Yet, further behind in time lurks the faint image of the prototype of the first ever flower on earth. And before that... And...
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