Polystachya simplex Rendle

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Polystachya simplex

Photo: Bart Wursten
Forest on Castle Beacon, Vumba

Polystachya simplex

Photo: Bart Wursten
Forest on Castle Beacon, Vumba

Polystachya simplex

Photo: Bart Wursten
Forest on Castle Beacon, Vumba

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Synonyms: Polystachya aristulifera Rendle
Polystachya pachyrhiza Kraenzl.
Common names:
Status: Native
Pendulous epiphyte or occasional lithophyte. The new, slender pseudobulbs arise from the centre of the previous growth, forming long, pendent chains. Leaves 3-4, elliptic-oblong or oblanceolate, glossy green, often with purple veining beneath, 5-15 cm long, arising from the apex of the new growth. Inflorescence terminal, mostly unbranched, fairly densely up to 15-flowered. Flowers green, tinged with brown or reddish-purple, pubescent on the outside, lip pale yellow with a darker centre line.
Derivation of specific name: simplex: undivided, entire
Habitat: In evergreen forest.
Altitude range: (metres) 900 - 1900 m
Flowering time:Dec - Jan
Worldwide distribution: DRC, Uganda, kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe distribution: E
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

Ball, J.S. (1978). Southern African Epiphytic Orchids. Conservation Press, Johannesburg. Pages 154 - 155. (Includes a picture).

Cribb, P.J. (1978). Studies in the genus Polystachya (Orchidaceae) in Africa Kew Bulletin 32(4) Page 754.

Cribb, P.J. (1984). Orchidaceae (Part 2) Flora of Tropical East Africa Pages 370 - 371.

Grosvenor, R.K. (1976). A list of orchids indigenous in Rhodesia. Excelsa 6 Page 85.

Kimberley, M.J. (2003). A List of Epiphytic Orchids of Zimbabwe Excelsa 20 Page 50.

La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1998). Orchidaceae (Part 2) Flora Zambesiaca 11(2) Pages 147 - 148.

La Croix, I. et al. (1983). Malawi Orchids Volume 1 Epiphytic Orchids National Fauna Preservation Society of Malawi Pages 124 - 125. (Includes a picture).

La Croix, I. et al. (1991). Orchids of Malawi A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam Pages 217 - 218. (Includes a picture).

La Croix, I.F. & La Croix T.M. (1983). Orchids of Bvumbwe The Society of Malawi Journal 36(2) Page 17.

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 97.

Mytnik-Ejsmont, J. (2011). A Monograph of the Subtribe Polystachyinae Schltr. (Orchidaceae) University of Gdansk, Poland, ISBN 978 83 7531 174 4 Pages 227 - 229. (Includes a picture).

Stewart, J. & Campbell, B. (1996). Orchids of Kenya Timber Press Inc, Portland Oregon, USA ISBN0-88192-357-5 Page 71. (Includes a picture).

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 140.

Other sources of information about Polystachya simplex:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Polystachya simplex
Flora of Malawi: Polystachya simplex
Flora of Mozambique: Polystachya simplex

External websites:

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

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: Polystachya simplex.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=118430, retrieved 29 February 2024

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