Habenaria genuflexa Rendle

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Synonyms: Bilabrella genuflexa (Rendle)
Common names:
Status: Native
Tuber single, 1-2.5 cm long, 0.5-1 cm in diameter, ellipsoid, ovoid. Stem 20-100 cm tall, erect, rather stout, glabrous. Leaves 7-11, 7-29 cm long, 0.5-2(2.5) cm wide, linear or narrowly lanceolate, acute, suberect to spreading, the upper ones much smaller. Inflorescence 5-29 cm long, 6-40-flowered, rather loose. Flowers green with white petals and column. Floral bracts 8-25 mm long, glabrous or pubescent inside. Pedicel and ovary 15-25 mm long, glabrous. Dorsal sepal 5-7.5 mm long, 2-3.5 mm wide, narrowly elliptic or oblong, concave, obtuse or shortly apiculate, sometimes semi-cucullate, glabrous, reflexed. Petals bipartite nearly to the base; anterior lobe 8-16 mm long, 1-1.5 mm wide, obliquely narrowly lanceolate, apiculate, spreading forward, rather thick, glabrous or rarely papillose; posterior lobe 4.5-7.5 mm long, 0.5-1 mm wide, linear, acute, rather thin, papillose and ciliate. Lateral sepals 7-10 mm long, 3.5-6 mm wide, obliquely oblong-obovate or obovate-elliptic, cochleate in the apical half, with short, ca. 0.6 mm long, lateral apiculus, glabrous. Lip tri-partite above an undivided basal part 2-3.5 mm long, minutely papillate, thin at the base, thicker towards the apex; the middle lobe 9-13 mm long, 0.5-1 mm wide, linear, acute or obtuse; side lobes 6-11.5 mm long, 0.5-0.8 mm wide, linear, acute, curved upwards. Spur 8-13 mm long, geniculate, twisted once or twice above, distinctly swollen in the apical third or half, ca. 1.9-2.5 mm in diameter, blunt. Anther 3 mm long, antherophores 4-8 mm long, longer than stigmaphores.(Source: JSTOR/FZ)
Type location:
Notes: This species closely resembles H. schimperiana A. Rich., and it is possible that they form one variable species, in which case H. schimperiana would be the correct name.H. schimperiana is a larger, more robust plant with bigger flowers and a longer pedicel; the anterior petal lobe is ciliate on the margin.
Derivation of specific name:
Habitat: Short grasslands, wet or swampy.
Altitude range: 600 - 2100 m
Flowering time:Jul - Aug
Worldwide distribution: West Africa south to Angola and east to the Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania.
Zambian distribution (Flora Zambesiaca): N,W
Zambian distribution (Provinces): Nw,N
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) Pages 93 - 94.

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

Summerhayes, V.S. (1962). African orchids XXVIII Kew Bulletin 16(2) Pages 280 - 281.

Other sources of information about Habenaria genuflexa:

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-23

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2023). Flora of Zambia: Species information: Habenaria genuflexa.
https://www.zambiaflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=208910, retrieved 28 November 2023

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