Centrostigma occultans (Rchb. f.) Schltr.

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Centrostigma occultans

Photo: Nicholas Wightman
Chakwenga Headwaters and Nyabutaye Peat Bog, Rufunsa Distr., Lusaka Province

Centrostigma occultans

Photo: Nicholas Wightman
Chakwenga Headwaters and Nyabutaye Peat Bog, Rufunsa Distr., Lusaka Province

Centrostigma occultans

Photo: Nicholas Wightman
Chakwenga Headwaters and Nyabutaye Peat Bog, Rufunsa Distr., Lusaka Province

Centrostigma occultans

Photo: Maureen Silva-Jones
Chakwenga Headwaters and Nyabutaye Peat Bog, Rufunsa Distr., Lusaka Province

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

Synonyms: Centrostigma nyassanum Schltr.
Centrostigma schlechteri (Kraenzl.) Schltr.
Habenaria occultans Rchb. f.
Habenaria schlechteri Kraenzl.
Common names:
Status: Native
Terrestrial herb 55–75 cm tall, drying dark brown, growing from globose or ellipsoid tubers c. 2–3 cm long. Leaves along the stem, lanceolate, up to 15.5 cm long; lowermost sheathing. Inflorescence up to 16 cm long, 1–10-flowered; bracts lanceolate, up to 6.5 cm long. Flowers pale green to yellow-green. Dorsal sepal erect, ovate, 13–20 mm long, convex; lateral sepals deflexed, obliquely lanceolate, 14–25 mm long. Petals obliquely lanceolate, 12–18 mm long, lying inside the dorsal sepal. Lip 3-lobed, claw 1.5–3 mm long; mid-lobe deflexed, linear 18–25 mm long; side lobes swept back, 18–25 mm long, comb-shaped at the apex. Spur slender, 10–15 cm long, slightly swollen at apex.
Derivation of specific name: occultans: hiding or hidden, possibly alluding to the petals lying inside the dorsal sepal.
Habitat: In dambos and other marshy habitats.
Altitude range: (metres) 1250 - 1700 m
Flowering time:Nov - Jan
Worldwide distribution: From Angola east through Zambia to Tanzania south to Malawi, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Zimbabwe distribution: C,E
Growth form(s): Terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status: Endangered
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Ball, J.S. (2009). Terrestrial African Orchids, A Selected Review. Pages 24 - 25. (Includes a picture).

Fibeck, W. & Dare, M. (1993). Terrestrial Orchids in Zimbabwe. Excelsa 16 Page 55.

Golding, J.S. (ed.) (2002). Zimbabwe Plant Red Data List. Southern African Plant Red Data Lists. SABONET 14 Page 167.

Grosvenor, R.K. (1976). A list of orchids indigenous in Rhodesia. Excelsa 6 Page 79.

Johnson, S., Bytebier, B, & Stärker H. (2015). Orchids of South Africa, a Field Guide Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 187. (Includes a picture).

La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1995). Orchidaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 11(1) Pages 48 - 50.

La Croix, I. et al. (1991). Orchids of Malawi A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam Page 44. (Includes a picture).

Linder, H.P. & Kurzweil, H. (1999). Orchids of Southern Africa A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, the Netherlands ISBN 90-5410-445-7 Page 144. (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.

McMurtry, D., Grobler, L., Grobler, J. & Burns, S. (2008). Field Guide to the ORCHIDS of Northern South Africa and Swaziland Umdaus Press, PO Box 11059 Hatfield 0028 South Africa Page 148. (Includes a picture).

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 118.

Summerhayes, V.S. (1956). African orchids XXIII Kew Bulletin 11(2) Page 219.

Williamson, G. (1977). The Orchids of South Central Africa J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., London. Page 77. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Centrostigma occultans:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Centrostigma occultans
Flora of Zambia: Centrostigma occultans

External websites:

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

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: Centrostigma occultans.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=116530, retrieved 7 December 2021

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