Habenaria zambesina Rchb.f.

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Habenaria zambesina

Photo: Nicholas Wightman
Chakwenga Headwaters, 100-129 km E of Lusaka

Habenaria zambesina

Photo: Nicholas Wightman
Chakwenga Headwaters, 100-129 km E of Lusaka

Habenaria zambesina

Photo: Nicholas Wightman
Chakwenga Headwaters, 100-129 km E of Lusaka

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

Synonyms: Habenaria myriantha Kraenzl.
Common names:
Status: Native
Terrestrial herb up to 1 m tall; roots several, fleshy, up to 12 x 1 cm, cylindrical, sometimes branched; leaves 8-9, spaced along the stem, lowest 2-3 loosely sheathing, the remainder up to 22 x 5 cm, ovate, acute, slightly clasping stem, decreasing in size towards stem apex; inflorescence 11-25 x 4.5-25 cm, densely many flowered, bracts 17-22 mm long, lanceolate, acute; ovary and pedicel 18-20 mm long; flowers white, sepals turning green towards apex, dorsal sepal 5-6 x 3-5 mm, ovate, reflexed, lateral sepals 6-10 x 3-4 mm, ovate, deflexed or spreading, twisted; petals 5-10 x 3-4 mm, ovate, acute, entire, pointing forwards and more or less forming a hood; lip 8-13 x 1.5-2.5 mm, ligulate entire; spur (1.5)5.5-9 cm long, slender, pendent; anther c. 2mm tall, canals very short; stigmatic arms 2-2.5 mm long, clavate, usually joined near tip.
Derivation of specific name:
Altitude range:
Flowering time:Dec - Feb
Worldwide distribution: Throughout most of tropical Africa
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

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 329.

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 129.

Darbyshire, I., Vollesen, K. & Kelbessa, E. (2010). Acanthaceae (Part 2) Flora of Tropical East Africa Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Page 122.

Fibeck, W. & Dare, M. (1993). Terrestrial Orchids in Zimbabwe. Excelsa 16 Page 66.

Golding, J.S. (ed.) (2002). Zimbabwe Plant Red Data List. Southern African Plant Red Data Lists. SABONET 14 Page 181.

Grosvenor, R.K. (1976). A list of orchids indigenous in Rhodesia. Excelsa 6 Page 83.

La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1995). Orchidaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 11(1) Page 69.

La Croix, I. et al. (1991). Orchids of Malawi A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam Page 57. (Includes a picture).

La Croix, I.F. & La Croix T.M. (1983). Orchids of Bvumbwe The Society of Malawi Journal 36(2) Page 17.

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 96.

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

Stewart, J. & Campbell, B. (1996). Orchids of Kenya Timber Press Inc, Portland Oregon, USA ISBN0-88192-357-5 Page 143.

Williamson, G. (1977). The Orchids of South Central Africa J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., London. Pages 42 - 43. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Habenaria zambesina:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Habenaria zambesina
Flora of Mozambique: Habenaria zambesina
Flora of Zambia: Habenaria zambesina
Flora of Zimbabwe: Habenaria zambesina

External websites:

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

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Species information: Habenaria zambesina.
https://www.malawiflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=117210, retrieved 22 July 2024

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