Cynorkis kirkii Rolfe

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Cynorkis kirkii

Photo: Margaret Westrop
Chitinje Marsh, Zomba Plateau

Cynorkis kirkii

Photo: Margaret Westrop
Chitinje Marsh, Zomba Plateau

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Synonyms: Cynorkis oblonga Schltr.
Common names:
Status: Native
Terrestrial herb, up to 45 cm tall. Basal leaf usually 1, sometimes 2, ovate, up to 21 × 5 cm, pale green, hairless. Peduncle with 1 sheathing leaf. Inflorescence 1-10-flowered. Flowers lilac, white or yellowish in the centre, lip usually paler than sepals and petals; dorsal sepal forming a hood with the petals; lip 8-20 mm long, 4-lobed; lobes oblong to spathulate, truncate or rounded at the ends; spur 15-30 mm long, slender, more or less straight.
Derivation of specific name: kirkii: named after Dr John Kirk, who accompanied David Livingstone on his Zambezi expedition of 1858
Habitat: On earth banks and rocky seepage slopes, usually in shade.
Altitude range: Up to 1800 m
Flowering time:Jan - Feb
Worldwide distribution: Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Malawi distribution: N,C,S
Growth form(s): Terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Wednesday 11 November 2020

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

Fibeck, W. & Dare, M. (1993). Terrestrial Orchids in Zimbabwe. Excelsa 16 Page 55.

Grosvenor, R.K. (1976). A list of orchids indigenous in Rhodesia. Excelsa 6 Page 79.

La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1995). Orchidaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 11(1) Page 53. (Includes a picture).

La Croix, I. et al. (1991). Orchids of Malawi A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam Page 48. (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.

Moriarty, A. (1975). Wild Flowers of Malawi Purnell & sons Cape Town. Pages 53 - 54. (Includes a picture).

Morris, B. (1967). The epiphytic orchids of Soche Mountain. Historic and Scientific Society of Malawi Journal 20(2) Page 31.

Morris, B. (1970). Epiphytic Orchids of Malawi The Society of Malawi Pages 26 - 27.

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1976). A Provisional Checklist of the Orchidaceae of Mozambique South African Journal of Botany 42(4) Page 390.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 133.

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 84.

Other sources of information about Cynorkis kirkii:

Our websites:

Flora of Mozambique: Cynorkis kirkii
Flora of Zimbabwe: Cynorkis kirkii

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Cynorkis kirkii., retrieved 28 September 2023

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