Cynorkis anisoloba Summerh.

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Cynorkis anisoloba

Photo: Bart Wursten
Muhohwa Falls, Corner, Chimanimani

Cynorkis anisoloba

Photo: Bart Wursten
Muhohwa Falls, Corner, Chimanimani

Cynorkis anisoloba

Photo: Bart Wursten
Muhohwa Falls, Corner, Chimanimani

Cynorkis anisoloba

Photo: Bart Wursten
Muhohwa Falls, Corner, Chimanimani

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

Common names:
Status: Native
Terrestrial herb, up to 35 cm tall, growing from paired, ellipsoid, hairy tubers, c. 2 cm long. Basal leaves 1-3, ovate-lanceolate, up to 13 cm long; 2-3 smaller leaves sheathing along the hairy peduncle. Inflorescence laxly up to 20-flowered; bracts lanceolate, c. 7 mm long; ovary and pedicels c. 10 mm long, arched, glandular hairy. Flowers pale pink to purple with red spots on the lip. Dorsal sepal 3-4.5 mm long convex; lateral sepals spreading, 6-8 mm long. Petals 3-4 mm long, forming a hood together with the dorsal sepal. Lip 7-10 mm long, 5-lobed with 2 minute lobes near the base and 2 lobes arising about hafway along the lip, up to 3 mm long. Midlobe longer and somewhat wider. Spur 5-12 mm long, tapering, straight oe C-shaped.
Notes: - It is distinguished from the closely-related C. debilis by the lip. In C. anisoloba, it is 3-lobed only in the apical half, the side lobes shorter and narrower than the mid lobe.
- This species was considered endemic to the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe (la Croix & Cribb, 1995; Mapaura, 2002)but has also been recorded from adjacent areas in Mozambique, including Mt Gorongosa.
Derivation of specific name: anisoloba: with unequal lobes
Habitat: in damp or wet soil, in rock crevices or among short grasses, sometimes in deep shade.
Altitude range: (metres) 1200 - 2380 m
Flowering time:Feb - Apr
Worldwide distribution: Border mountains of Zimbabwe and Mozambique including Mt Gorongosa.
Zimbabwe distribution: E
Growth form(s): Terrestrial.
Endemic status: Near Endemic
Red data list status: Lower Risk - near threatened
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Sunday 6 October 2013

Ball, J.S. (2009). Terrestrial African Orchids, A Selected Review. Pages 30 - 31. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 19.

Darbyshire, I., Timberlake, J., Osborne, J., Rokni, S., Matimele, H., Langa. C., Datizua, C., de Sousa, C., Alves, T., Massingue, A., Hadj-Hammou, J., Dhanda, S., Shah, T., Wursten, B. (2019). The endemic plants of Mozambique: diversity and conservation status Phytotaxa 136 Page 77.

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 175.

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

La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1995). Orchidaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 11(1) Pages 52 - 53.

Mapaura, A. (2002). Endemic Plant Species of Zimbabwe. Kirkia 18(1) Page 128.

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 95.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1976). A Provisional Checklist of the Orchidaceae of Mozambique South African Journal of Botany 42(4) Page 390.

Summerhayes, V.S. (1957). African orchids XXIV Kew Bulletin 12(1) Pages 108 - 109. Protologue

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 84.

Other sources of information about Cynorkis anisoloba:

Our websites:

Flora of Mozambique: Cynorkis anisoloba

External websites:

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

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: Cynorkis anisoloba., retrieved 24 May 2024

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