Cyrtorchis arcuata Lindl.
subsp. arcuata

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Cyrtorchis arcuata subsp. arcuata

Miombo woodland
Kasonde area
Jan 2020
Photo: Nick Wightman

Cyrtorchis arcuata subsp. arcuata

Miombo woodland
Kasonde area
Jan 2020
Photo: Nick Wightman

Cyrtorchis arcuata subsp. arcuata

Miombo woodland
Kasonde area
Jan 2020
Photo: Nick Wightman

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

Synonyms: Angorchis sedenii (Rchb. f.) Kuntze
Angraecum sedenii (Rchb. f.) G. Nicholson
Angraecum. arcuatum Lindl.
Cyrtorchis arcuata (Lindl.) Schltr. subsp. variabilis Summerh.
Cyrtorchis bracteata Schltr.
Cyrtorchis sedenii (Rchb. f.) Schltr.
Listrostachys arcuata (Lindl.) Rchb. f.
Listrostachys sedenii Rchb. f.
Common names:
Status: Native
Epiphytic or lithophytic herb. Plants with a robust stem, up to 30 long, often forming large clumps. Leaves, leathery or somewhat fleshy, more or less flat and not folded along the length, linear, oblong or elliptic, up to 20 × 2.5 cm. Inflorescences 8-18 cm long, c. 10-flowered. Flowers star-shaped, sweetly scented, 2.5-3 cm in diameter, white, turning apricot with age. Sepals, petals and lip similar, lanceolate, acuminate, recurved at the apex. Spur 3-6 cm long, greenish, curved.
Type location:
South Africa
Notes: Similar to Cyrtorchis ringens, which also has flat leaves but much smaller flowers and a shorter, straight spur.
Derivation of specific name: arcuata: curved like a bow or arched, probably referring to the curved spur.
Habitat: In Brachystegia-Uapaca woodland, sometimes on Parinari in wooded grassland
Altitude range: 310 - 2200 m
Flowering time:Mar - May
Worldwide distribution: Widespread in tropical and South Africa.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,W,C
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Nw,N,C
Growth form(s): Epiphyte, lithophyte.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Monday 6 July 2020

Ball, J.S. (1978). Southern African Epiphytic Orchids. Conservation Press, Johannesburg. Pages 98 - 99. as Cyrtorchis arcuata subsp. variabilis (Includes a picture).

Bandeira, S., Bolnick, D. & Barbosa, F. (2007). Wild Flowers of Southern Mozambique Universidade Eduardo Mondlane, Maputo, Mozambique Page 77. (Includes a picture).

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

Cribb, P.J. (1989). Orchidaceae (Part 3) Flora of Tropical East Africa Pages 576 - 578.

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 128.

Grosvenor, R.K. (1976). A list of orchids indigenous in Rhodesia. Excelsa 6 Page 79. as Cyrtorchis arcuata subsp. variabilis

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 411 - 412.

La Croix, I. et al. (1983). Malawi Orchids Volume 1 Epiphytic Orchids National Fauna Preservation Society of Malawi Pages 63 - 65. as Cyrtorchis arcuata subsp. variabilis (Includes a picture).

La Croix, I. et al. (1991). Orchids of Malawi A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam Pages 265 - 266. as Cyrtorchis arcuata subsp. variabilis (Includes a picture).

Linder, H.P. & Kurzweil, H. (1999). Orchids of Southern Africa A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, the Netherlands ISBN 90-5410-445-7 Pages 434 - 435. (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 95.

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 Pages 440 - 441.

Morris, B. (1970). Epiphytic Orchids of Malawi The Society of Malawi Pages 106 - 107. as Cyrtorchis arcuata subsp. variabilis

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

Pooley, E. (1998). A Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Natal Flora Publications Trust. Durban. Pages 130 - 131. (Includes a picture).

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1976). A Provisional Checklist of the Orchidaceae of Mozambique South African Journal of Botany 42(4) Page 393.

Stewart, J. & Campbell, B. (1996). Orchids of Kenya Timber Press Inc, Portland Oregon, USA ISBN0-88192-357-5 Pages 38 - 39. (Includes a picture).

Summerhayes, V.S. (1960). African orchids XXVII Kew Bulletin 14(1) Pages 146 - 149. Also as subsp. variabilis

Williamson, G. (1977). The Orchids of South Central Africa J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., London. Pages 197 - 198. as Cyrtorchis arcuata subsp. variabilis (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Cyrtorchis arcuata subsp. arcuata:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Cyrtorchis arcuata subsp. arcuata
Flora of Malawi: Cyrtorchis arcuata subsp. arcuata
Flora of Mozambique: Cyrtorchis arcuata subsp. arcuata
Flora of Zimbabwe: Cyrtorchis arcuata subsp. arcuata

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-24

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2024). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Cyrtorchis arcuata subsp. arcuata., retrieved 24 April 2024

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