Calanthe sylvatica (Thouars) Lindl.

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Calanthe sylvatica

Photo: Darrel Plowes

Calanthe sylvatica

Photo: Darrel Plowes

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Synonyms: Calanthe corymbosa Lindl.
Calanthe delphinioides Kraenzl.
Calanthe natalensis Rchb. f.
Calanthe neglecta Schltr.
Calanthe sanderiana Rolfe
Calanthe schliebenii Mansfeld
Calanthe stolzii Schltr.
Calanthe volkensii Rolfe
Centrosis sylvatica Thouars
Common names:
Status: Native
Robust terrestrial herb, up to 70 cm. Leaves 3-5, more or less in a basal rosette, large, up to 35 × 12 cm, lanceolate, plicate, dark green. Inflorescence densely many-flowered, peduncle slightly pubescent. Flowers white to purple; lip darker with an orange callus. Sepals lanceolate, acute, lateral sepals longer than the dorsal sepal. Petals elliptic to oblanceolate. Lip 3-lobed, side lobes small; mid lobe large, broadly obovate, notched at the apex. Spur 2-4 cm.
Derivation of specific name: sylvatica: sylvan, forest-loving
Altitude range:
Flowering time:Jan - Mar
Worldwide distribution: Tropical Africa, South Africa, Madagascar, Mascarene Islands and possibly tropical Asia
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

Ball, J.S. (2009). Terrestrial African Orchids, A Selected Review. Pages 22 - 23. (Includes a picture).

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 318. (Includes a picture).

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 11.

Cribb, P.J. (1984). Orchidaceae (Part 2) Flora of Tropical East Africa Pages 282 - 285. (Includes a picture).

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. Also as Calanthe corymbosa

Johnson, S., Bytebier, B, & Stärker H. (2015). Orchids of South Africa, a Field Guide Struik Nature, Cape Town South Africa Page 86. (Includes a picture).

La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1995). Orchidaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 11(1) Pages 272 - 275. (Includes a picture).

La Croix, I. et al. (1991). Orchids of Malawi A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam Pages 173 - 174. (Includes a picture).

Linder, H.P. & Kurzweil, H. (1999). Orchids of Southern Africa A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, the Netherlands ISBN 90-5410-445-7 Pages 406 - 407. (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 94.

McMurtry, D., Grobler, L., Grobler, J. & Burns, S. (2008). Field Guide to the ORCHIDS of Northern South Africa and Swaziland Umdaus Press, PO Box 11059 Hatfield 0028 South Africa Pages 388 - 389. (Includes a picture).

Morris, B. (1970). Epiphytic Orchids of Malawi The Society of Malawi Page 36. as Calanthe sanderiana

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 118.

Pooley, E. (1998). A Field Guide to the Wild Flowers of KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. Natal Flora Publications Trust. Durban. Pages 458 - 459. (Includes a picture).

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1976). A Provisional Checklist of the Orchidaceae of Mozambique South African Journal of Botany 42(4) Page 391. as Calanthe natalensis

Stewart, J. & Campbell, B. (1996). Orchids of Kenya Timber Press Inc, Portland Oregon, USA ISBN0-88192-357-5 Pages 99 - 100. (Includes a picture).

Williamson, G. (1977). The Orchids of South Central Africa J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., London. Pages 130 - 131. as Calanthe corymbosa and C. natalensis (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Calanthe sylvatica:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Calanthe sylvatica
Flora of Mozambique: Calanthe sylvatica
Flora of Zambia: Calanthe sylvatica
Flora of Zimbabwe: Calanthe sylvatica

External websites:

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

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: Calanthe sylvatica., retrieved 15 July 2024

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