Bonatea speciosa (L.f.) Willd.

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Bonatea speciosa

Photo: Mark Hyde
Nature's Valley, E of Knysna, S Africa

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Synonyms: Bonatea boltonii (Harv.) Bolus
Habenaria bonatea Rchb. f.
Orchis speciosa L.f.
Common names: Green wood orchid (English)
Status: Native
Robust terrestrial, 40-100 cm tall, growing from cylindrical tubers. Leaves along the stem, lanceolate to ovate, up to 10 × 3 cm, pointed at the apex, sheathing at the base. Inflorescence more or less densely, up to 15-flowered. Bracts leafy, ovate, 30-45 mm long. Flowers green and white. Dorsal sepal erect, ovate c. 20 × 12 mm, forming a hood. Lateral sepals obliquely ovate, 19-22 mm long, slightly rolled lengthwise. Petals 2-lobed; upper lobe c. 15 mm long, linear, adnate to the dorsal sepal; lower lobe 20-25 mm long, linear. Lip 3-lobed, 26-32 mm long, joined to the stigma in the basal part; mid-lobe linear, 20-23 mm long, bent back in the middle; side lobes narrowly linear, up to 30 mm long, recurved at the apex. Spur 25-47 mm long slightly swollen at the apex.
Derivation of specific name: speciosa: showy, good-looking
Habitat: Open deciduous woodland.
Altitude range: (metres) 1500 m (approx)
Flowering time:Dec - Jan
Worldwide distribution: Zimbabwe to the Western Cape, South Africa
Zimbabwe distribution: W,C,E,S
Growth form(s): Terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status: Data deficient
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Fibeck, W. & Dare, M. (1993). Terrestrial Orchids in Zimbabwe. Excelsa 16 Page 54.

Golding, J.S. (ed.) (2002). Zimbabwe Plant Red Data List. Southern African Plant Red Data Lists. SABONET 14 Page 180.

Grosvenor, R.K. (1976). A list of orchids indigenous in Rhodesia. Excelsa 6 Page 78.

Johnson, S., Bytebier, B, & Stärker H. (2015). Orchids of South Africa, a Field Guide Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 66. (Includes a picture).

La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1995). Orchidaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 11(1) Page 45.

Linder, H.P. & Kurzweil, H. (1999). Orchids of Southern Africa A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, the Netherlands ISBN 90-5410-445-7 Pages 137 - 139. (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 94.

Other sources of information about Bonatea speciosa:

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Bonatea speciosa
African Plant Database: Bonatea speciosa
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Bonatea speciosa
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Bonatea speciosa
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Bonatea speciosa
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Bonatea speciosa
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Bonatea speciosa
JSTOR Plant Science: Bonatea speciosa
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Bonatea speciosa
Plants of the World Online: Bonatea speciosa
Tropicos: Bonatea speciosa
Wikipedia: Bonatea speciosa

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Bonatea speciosa., retrieved 14 June 2024

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