Siphonochilus kirkii (Hook. f.) B.L. Burtt

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Siphonochilus kirkii

Photo: Darrel Plowes

Siphonochilus kirkii

Photo: Darrel Plowes

Siphonochilus kirkii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Kopje Tops, Mavhuradonha Wilderness Area

Siphonochilus kirkii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Kopje Tops, Mavhuradonha Wilderness Area

Siphonochilus kirkii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Road from Main Road to Vundu Camp, Mana Pools

Siphonochilus kirkii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Tingwa Raphia Palm Botanical Reserve

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Kaempferia carsonii Baker
Kaempferia kirkii (Hook.f.) Wittm. & Perring
Kaempferia rosea Baker
Siphonochilus carsonii (Baker) Lock
Siphonochilus decorus (Druten) Lock
Common names: Rose ginger (English)
Frequency: Occasional
Status: Native
Perennial herb, growing from a short thick rhizome. Leaves almost fully developed at the time of flowering. Inflorescence up to 15-flowered on a separate shoot from the base of the leaves. Flowers short-lived, appearing in succession, large and showy, pink with a white centre. The large lip has a yellow nectar guide with or without a dark purple mark on either side.
Notes: Yellow-flowered plants were formerly regarded as a separate species under the name Siphonochilus decorus (Druten) B.L. Burtt. Recent genetic research established this is merely a colour form and the two forms are now considered conspecific with the name S. decorus as a synonym.
Another name mentioned in Mapaura & Timberlake, 2004:112 is S. carsonii (Baker) Lock but is is also considered conspecific with this species.
Derivation of specific name: kirkii: named after Dr John Kirk, who accompanied David Livingstone on his Zambezi expedition of 1858
Habitat: In semi-shade in woodland, sometimes at the foot of termite mounds.
Altitude range: (metres) Up to 1200 m
Flowering time:Nov - Jan
Worldwide distribution: Sudan, D.R. Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and the Caprivi.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,W,C,E,S
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species: Physcaeneura pione (Food plant)
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Thursday 5 October 2017

Baumann, G. (2005). Photographic Guide to Wildflowers of Malawi Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi Pages 240 - 241. (Includes a picture).

Bolnick, D. (2007). A Guide to the Common Wild Flowers of Zambia and Neighbouring Regions Revised Edition. WECS, Lusaka, Zambia

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 51.

Da Silva, M.C., Izidine, S. & Amude, A.B. (2004). A preliminary checklist of the vascular plants of Mozambique. Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 30 Sabonet, Pretoria Page 142.

Lock, J.M. (2010). Zingiberaceae Flora Zambesiaca 13(4) Pages 125 - 127. (Includes a picture).

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 112. Also as S. carsonii and S. decorus

Moriarty, A. (1975). Wild Flowers of Malawi Purnell & sons Cape Town. Pages 35 - 36. as Kaempferia rosea (Includes a picture).

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32

Pickering, H. & Roe, E. (2009). Wild Flowers of the Victoria Falls Area Helen Pickering, London Page 115. (Includes a picture).

Plowes, D.C.H. & Drummond, R.B. (1990). Wild Flowers of Zimbabwe. Revised edition. Longman, Zimbabwe. No. 28, plate 47 & 48

Other sources of information about Siphonochilus kirkii:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: Siphonochilus kirkii
Flora of Malawi: Siphonochilus kirkii
Flora of Mozambique: Siphonochilus kirkii
Flora of Zambia: Siphonochilus kirkii

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Siphonochilus kirkii
African Plant Database: Siphonochilus kirkii
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Siphonochilus kirkii
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Siphonochilus kirkii
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Siphonochilus kirkii
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Siphonochilus kirkii
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Siphonochilus kirkii
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Siphonochilus kirkii
iNaturalist: Siphonochilus kirkii
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Siphonochilus kirkii
JSTOR Plant Science: Siphonochilus kirkii
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Siphonochilus kirkii
Kew Monocotyledon checklist: Siphonochilus kirkii
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Siphonochilus kirkii
Plants of the World Online: Siphonochilus kirkii
Tropicos: Siphonochilus kirkii
Wikipedia: Siphonochilus kirkii

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-21

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2021). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Siphonochilus kirkii., retrieved 28 October 2021

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