Habenaria falcata G. Will.

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Synonyms: Bilabrella falcata (G.Will.)
Common names:
Status: Native
Terrestrial herb c. 45 cm tall; tubers ovoid or ellipsoid.Stem leafy; leaves about 11, the lowest 3 sheathing, white with green reticulate veining, the next 4 erect, c. 10 × 1 cm, lanceolate, acute; the rest becoming bract-like.Inflorescence c. 15 × 4 cm, fairly laxly 16–30-flowered; bracts shorter than pedicel and ovary.Flowers green.Pedicel and ovary curved, c. 20 mm long.Dorsal sepal ± reflexed, 5 × 2 mm, elliptic, convex; lateral sepals deflexed, c. 8 × 5 mm, obliquely obovate with lateral apiculum.Petals 2-lobed almost to base; upper lobe c. 5 × 0.6 mm, erect; lower lobes reflexed, c. 9.5 mm long, lanceolate, the apex upturned.Lip pendent, 3-lobed almost to base; mid-lobe 8–11 mm long, obtuse; side lobes 9–12 mm long, acute; all lobes linear, c. 0.8 mm wide; spur c. 30 mm long, incurved, slender but swollen at apex, not twisted.Anther erect, slightly stalked, 1.8 mm long, the loculi parallel; canals porrect, c. 5 mm long; auricles c. 1 mm long, ± 3-lobed.Stigmatic arms c. 3 mm long, somewhat papillose, porrect, the apices truncate, lying parallel to each other.Rostellum mid-lobe 1.5 mm high, triangular.(Source: JSTOR/FZ)
Type location:
Zambia, Mwinilunga
Notes: This species has a very peculiar gynostemium architecture - it is distinctly stalked, like in Habenaria macrostele. However, stigmaphores and antherophores of B. falcata are elongate and slender.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: Seasonally damp, open, sandy grassland.
Altitude range:
Flowering time:Dec
Worldwide distribution: DRC and Zambia.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): W
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Nw
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species

La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1995). Orchidaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 11(1) Page 93.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 121.

Pope, G. (1995). Orchidaceae Flora Zambesiaca 11(1)

Other sources of information about Habenaria falcata:

External websites:

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

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: Habenaria falcata.
https://www.zambiaflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=208880, retrieved 1 March 2024

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