Cyrtorchis crassifolia Schltr.

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Cyrtorchis crassifolia

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along path to Chisanga Falls, Nyika National Park.

Cyrtorchis crassifolia

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along path to Chisanga Falls, Nyika National Park

Cyrtorchis crassifolia

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along path to Chisanga Falls, Nyika National Park

Cyrtorchis crassifolia

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along path to Chisanga Falls, Nyika National Park

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

Common names:
Status: Native
Small epiphytic herb with a short stem, mostly less than c. 4 cm long; roots stout, 5–6 mm in diameter. Leaves up to c. 6, distichous, 2–6 cm long, recurved, V-shaped in cross-section, succulent, grey-green. Inflorescences 1–2, arising from the axils of lower leaves, to c. 4 cm long, arching, densely 3–8-flowered. Flowers not opening wide, creamy-white, turning apricot-coloured as they fade, scented in the evening. Sepals and petals lanceolate, up to 14 mm long, recurved at the tips, sepals longer than petals. Lip lanceolate, 6.5–11 mm long, recurved, channelled towards the base; spur 1.8–3 cm long, tapering from a base, incurved.
Derivation of specific name: crassifolia: thick-leaved
Habitat: In Brachystegia woodland and mixed deciduous woodlands in high-rainfall areas, epiphytic, rarely lithophytic, usually embedded in lichen.
Altitude range: 1200 - 2050 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and northern Zimbabwe.
Malawi distribution: N,S
Growth form(s): Epiphyte, lithophyte.
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Monday 13 May 2019

Ball, J.S. (1978). Southern African Epiphytic Orchids. Conservation Press, Johannesburg. Pages 100 - 101. (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).

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

Kimberley, M.J. (2003). A List of Epiphytic Orchids of Zimbabwe Excelsa 20 Page 50.

La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1998). Orchidaceae (Part 2) Flora Zambesiaca 11(2) Pages 414 - 416. (Includes a picture).

La Croix, I. et al. (1983). Malawi Orchids Volume 1 Epiphytic Orchids National Fauna Preservation Society of Malawi Page 65. (Includes a picture).

La Croix, I. et al. (1991). Orchids of Malawi A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam Page 266. (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.

Morris, B. (1970). Epiphytic Orchids of Malawi The Society of Malawi Page 107.

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

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 134.

Summerhayes, V.S. (1960). African orchids XXVII Kew Bulletin 14(1) Page 156.

Williamson, G. (1977). The Orchids of South Central Africa J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., London. Pages 198 - 199. (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Cyrtorchis crassifolia:

Our websites:

Flora of Zambia: Cyrtorchis crassifolia
Flora of Zimbabwe: Cyrtorchis crassifolia

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Cyrtorchis crassifolia
African Plant Database: Cyrtorchis crassifolia
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Cyrtorchis crassifolia
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Cyrtorchis crassifolia
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Cyrtorchis crassifolia
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Cyrtorchis crassifolia
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Cyrtorchis crassifolia
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Cyrtorchis crassifolia
iNaturalist: Cyrtorchis crassifolia
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Cyrtorchis crassifolia
JSTOR Plant Science: Cyrtorchis crassifolia
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Cyrtorchis crassifolia
Kew Monocotyledon checklist: Cyrtorchis crassifolia
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Cyrtorchis crassifolia
Plants of the World Online: Cyrtorchis crassifolia
Tropicos: Cyrtorchis crassifolia
Wikipedia: Cyrtorchis crassifolia

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: Cyrtorchis crassifolia., retrieved 21 March 2023

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