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This genus is accepted, and its native range is Tropical & S. Africa, W. Indian Ocean.

[FTEA]

Orchidaceae, V. S. Summerhayes. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1968

Morphology General Habit
Terrestrial herbs with elongated fleshy or tuberous roots
Morphology Stem
Stems often glandular pubescent
Morphology Leaves
Leaves almost all radical, few or solitary, the cauline ones small or sheath-like
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers few or numerous in a lax or dense terminal raceme, usually resupinate but rarely not so, usually pink or mauve, less frequently orange, rarely white
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Perianth
Sepals free or slightly adnate to the lip, the laterals spreading, the dorsal often forming a helm with the 2 petals
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Labellum
Lip free, entire or 3–5-lobed, usually larger than the tepals, spurred at the base
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Column
Column short and broad; androclinium erect or sloping; anther-loculi parallel, canals short or long and slender, caudicles of pollinia slender, viscidia 2, rarely 1, naked, auricles distinct; stigmatic processes oblong, papillose, usually united to the rostellum-lobes; rostellum prominent, several-lobed, the side lobes usually elongated, the middle lobe often large, projecting forward
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsules oblong or fusiform.

[KBu]

Hermans J et al. 2017. New species and nomenclatural changes in Cynorkis (Orchidaceae: Orchidoideae) from Madagascar and the Mascarenes. Kew Bulletin 72: 38. DOI 10.1007/S12225-017-9715-4

Note
Table 1. Comparison of Cynorkis christae and C. gigas
Cynorkis christae Cynorkis gigas
Leaf unspotted generally spotted
Inflorescence c. 40 cm long c. 30 cm long
Floral bracts ⅓ the length of the ovary almost as long as the ovary
Flowers 2-4 1-2
Lip lobes oval rounded, completely white lobes angular, white with a large deep-purple ‘W' shape at the base
Spur 16 - 19 cm long, indistinctly swollen in the apical ⅓ 10 - 12 cm long, distinctly swollen in the apical ¼
Distribution Mahajanga province, c. 600 m altitude mainly Fianarantsoa province, concentrated around the Andringitra and Itremo Massifs, 1000 - 2000 m altitude

[O-EM]
General Description

Terrestrial, or occasionally epiphytic, herbs with fleshy or tuberous roots. Stem, ovary and calyx often with glandular hairs. Leaves one to several, radical, with a few sheath-like and cauline, sometimes with distinctively coloured veins. Inflorescence terminal, one- to many-flowered, racemose. Flowers usually resupinate, pink, mauve, or purple, occasionally white or yellow. Sepals free or slightly adnate to the labellum, the dorsal often forming a hood with the petals, the lateral sepals spreading. Labellum entire or 3-5 lobed, spurred at the base. Column short and broad; androclinium erect or sloping; anther loculi parallel, the canals short or long and slender; viscidia two, rarely one, lateral appendages distinct; stigmatic processes oblong, papillose, usually joined to the lobes of the rostellum; side lobes of rostellum usually elongated; mid-lobe often large, projecting forward. Capsules oblong or fusiform, often ripe at the base of an inflorescence that is still flowering at the apex. (PC).

Ecology

Most Cynorkis species are slender terrestrial herbs with fleshy or tuberous roots, but a few species are epiphytic. Examples include C. kassneriana, which occasionally grows at low levels on tree trunks and C. synoensii, which in addition to growing on moss-covered rocks can be found embedded in moss on lianas up to 5 m above the ground (la Croix and Cribb 1995). Cynorkis species usually grow in relatively wet habitats including marshes, swamps, bogs with sphagnum or tall grass, damp grassland, banks of watercourses, in crevices on seepage slopes, or on grass overlying rock slabs (Summerhayes 1968; Cribb and Stewart 1985; la Croix and Cribb 1995). Some species grow in leaf litter or on rotting logs in forests (e.g. C. kassneriana), in high rainfall Brachystegia (Fabaceae) woodland (e.g. C. hanningtonii) or in pine plantations (e.g. C. buchanani on the Zomba Plateau in Malawi), and sometimes in deep shade. Cynorkis fastigiata commonly grows in disturbed habitats in forests, on roadsides and in heathland, usually as individual plants (D. L. Roberts, personal communication). Members of the genus can form colonies (e.g. C. anacamptoides), and some species are common in certain localities. For example, several Malagasy species are frequently found in the high mountain forest vegetation and on rocky hill tops and granite outcrops in the centre of Madagascar (Nilsson et al. 1992). Others are less common, e.g. C. compacta, which is known from only a few localities in Natal, South Africa, where it occurs among rocks (Pridgeon 1992).
Most Cynorkis species grow at elevations of between 600- 2300 m (la Croix and Cribb 1995) and up to 3000 m according to Summerhayes (1968). One exception is C. kirkii, which is reported to occur at 0-1800 m by la Croix and Cribb (1995) and 0-2400 m by Summerhayes (1968). The flowering period of Cynorkis can be prolonged as for C. anacamptoides, which flowers for almost six months between late September and mid-March, and fruits can be set rapidly at the base of an inflorescence still blooming at the apex (la Croix and Cribb 1995). According to Nilsson et al. (1992), reproductive success of C. uniflora on Madagascar is indirectly related to the presence of larval food plants (lmpatiens [Balsaminaceae] and species of Apocynaceae) of the hawk-moth pollinators of this species. Some Cynorkis species are apomictic; C. uncata from east Africa reproduces asexually by means of axillary bulbils (Mabberley 1987). Under glasshouse conditions the robust Madagascan/ Mascarenes species, C. fastigiata, readily sets fruit and disperses seeds, which germinate rapidly (Pridgeon 1992). (RN).

Distribution

A genus of about 125 species, mostly native to Madagascar and the Mascarene Islands, with up to 20 species on mainland Africa. (PC).

[FZ]

Orchidaceae, I. la Croix & P.J. Cribb. Flora Zambesiaca 11:1. 1995

Morphology General Habit
Terrestrial, or occasionally epiphytic, herb with fleshy or tuberous roots.
Morphology Stem
Stem, ovary and calyx often with glandular hairs.
Morphology Leaves
Leaves 1 to several, radical, with a few sheath-like and cauline.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers few to many in a terminal raceme, usually resupinate, pink, mauve or purple, occasionally white.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals free or slightly adnate to the lip, the dorsal often forming a hood with the petals, the lateral sepals spreading.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Labellum
Lip entire or 3–5-lobed, spurred at the base.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Column
Column short and broad; androclinium erect or sloping; anther loculi parallel, the canals short or long and slender; viscidia 2, rarely 1, auricles distinct; stigmatic processes oblong, papillose, usually joined to the lobes of the rostellum. Side lobes of rostellum usually elongated; mid-lobe often large, projecting forwards.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsules oblong or fusiform, often ripe at the base of an inflorescence which is still flowering at the apex.

[O-EM]
General Description

Terrestrial or epiphytic, erect to spreading herbs with swollen fleshy roots. Stems 1-2, unifoliate, enclosed at the base by brown or black sheaths. Leaf borne in the middle of the stem, ascending, ovate-cordate, green. Inflorescence terminal, racemose, sparsely to densely 2-10-flowered; bracts, free lanceolate. FIowers often showy for size of plant but sometimes small, white, pink, white, or purple. Dorsal sepal free, hooded. Lateral sepals free, spreading. Petals smaller than dorsal sepal and adnate to it forming a hood over the column. Labellum three-lobed, ecallose, the mid -lobe emarginate, larger than the spreading side lobes; spur cylindrical, pendent, or in curved. Column erect; anther canals elongate; pollinia two, clavate, viscidia two; rostellum trilobed, side lobes elongate, each forming a bursicle at the apex; stigma bilobed. (PC).

Distribution

A small genus of five species endemic to Madagascar. (PC).

Ecology

The Malagasy genus Physoceras comprises terrestrial, epiphytic, or lithophytic orchids that grow in a variety of habitats including moss forest, lichen-rich forest, river margins, montane ericaceous scrub, and humid evergreen forests. Most species grow at elevations of 1000-2500 m, although the epiphytic species, P. violaceum Schltr., is reported to grow at about 500 m in humid evergreen forests (Du Puy et al. 1999). On the mountain summits, Physoceras grows with a few other cool-growing orchids such as Angraecum, Cynorkis, and Polystachya species among shrubs (Hillerman and Holst 1986). The flowering period of Physoceras is usually between October and January, although P. bifurcum H. Perr. flowers in March-April and P. rotundifolium H. Perr. and P. violaceum in July and August, respectively (Du Puy et al. 1999). (RN).

[O-EM]
Use

A few species, notably some of the showier Madagascan species, such as C. gibbosa Ridl., C. uniflora Lindl., and C. lowiana Rchb.f., are cultivated as pot plants. Cynorkis Kewensis is an artificial hybrid of C. lowiana and C. fastigiata Thouars. ln Madagascar it is reportedly used to make pomades to treat burns (Kokwaro 1976) and C. flexuosa Lindl. is sometimes eaten in the east of the island (Usher 1974). (PC).

Native to:

Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Comoros, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gulf of Guinea Is., Kenya, KwaZulu-Natal, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Northern Provinces, Rwanda, Réunion, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Introduced into:

Fiji, Wallis-Futuna Is.

Cynorkis Thouars appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Williamson, G. [233], Zambia 1800.061
Du Puy, B. [MB198], Madagascar 56127.000
Madagascar 59393.000
Madagascar 59686.000
Madagascar 61003.000
la Croix, I. [1194], Sao Tome and Principe 61134.000
Madagascar 61154.000
Du Puy, B. [MB436], Madagascar 64394.000
Du Puy, B. [MB284], Madagascar 64395.000
Du Puy, B. [MB435], Madagascar 64398.000
Turk, D. [724], Madagascar 71848.000
Du Puy, D.J. [M643], Madagascar 71855.000
Du Puy, B. [MB656], Madagascar 72253.000
Du Puy, D.J. [M906], Madagascar 72256.000
Du Puy, D.J. [M637], Madagascar 72264.000
Lance, K. [8], Madagascar 72272.000
Du Puy, B. [MB435], Madagascar 72582.000
Du Puy, D.J. [M638], Madagascar 72584.000
Hermans, J. [30/5], Madagascar 72429.000
Roberts, D.L.R [121], Madagascar 78075.000
Cheek, M. [1416], Madagascar Cynorchis 57626.000
Cheek, M. [1415], Madagascar Cynorchis 57627.000
Cheek, M. [1277], Madagascar Cynorchis 58874.000
Du Puy, D.J. [M670], Madagascar Cynorchis 71375.000
Du Puy, D.J. [M638], Madagascar Cynorchis 71846.000

First published in Nouv. Bull. Sci. Soc. Philom. Paris 1: 317 (1809)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. (1999). World Checklist of Seed Plants 3(1, 2a & 2b): 1-1532. MIM, Deurne.
  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-71827. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Pridgeon, A.M., Cribb, P.J., Chase, M.C. & Rasmussen, F.N. (2001). Orchidoideae (Part 1) Genera Orchidacearum 2: 1-416. Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford.

Literature

Kew Bulletin

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Flora of West Tropical Africa

  • F.T.A. 7: 259.
  • in Nouv. Bull. Sci. Soc. Philom, Paris 1: 317 (1809)

Flora Zambesiaca

  • in Nouv. Bull. Sci. Soc. Philom. Paris 1: 317 (1809).

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • in Nouv. Bull. Sci. Soc. Philom. Paris 1: 317 (1809)

Flora Zambesiaca
Flora Zambesiaca
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Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa
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Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Bulletin
Kew Bulletin
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Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

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