Cardiochilos williamsonii P.J. Cribb

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Synonyms: Tridactyle sp. (Williamson & Nelson 388) of Williamson, Orch. S. Centr. Africa: 202 (1977).
Common names:
Status: Native
Small epiphytic herb with an erect stem, up to c. 8 cm long. Leaves in 2–6 pairs, distichous, linear, 4–8 cm long, folded along the length, 2-lobed at the apex. Inflorescences arising at the base of the stem base and in the lower leaf axils, 1–2-flowered. Peduncle 2–3 cm long, pubescent. Flowers non-resupinate, c. 8 mm in diameter, greenish to orange-straw-coloured. Dorsal sepal ovate or elliptic, 4 mm long; lateral sepals obliquely falcate, 4.5 mm long. Petals oblong-lanceolate, 4 mm long. Lip fleshy, obscurely 3-lobed, 4 mm long and wide, erose on the margins; spur 13–16 mm long, slender but slightly swollen at the apex.
Derivation of specific name: williamsonii: after Graham Williamson (1932-), dentist in Zambia who collected extensive data on orchids in Zambia and the Nyika in Malawi; author of Orchids of South-central Africa (1977).
Habitat: Low-level epiphyte in evergreen forest, growing among mosses and lichens.
Altitude range: 2200 - 2350 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Only known from the Nyika Plateau in Malawi and southern Tanzania
Malawi distribution: N
Growth form(s):
Endemic status: Near Endemic
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 318. (Includes a picture).

Cribb, P.J. (1977). New orchids from South Central Africa Kew Bulletin 32(1) Pages 182 - 184. (Includes a picture).

Dowsett-Lemaire, F. (1989). The flora and phytogeography of the evergreen forests of Malawi. I: Afromontane and mid-altitude forests; Bull. Jard. Bot. Nat. Belg. 59(1/2) Page 27.

La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1998). Orchidaceae (Part 2) Flora Zambesiaca 11(2) Pages 406 - 407. (Includes a picture).

La Croix, I. et al. (1983). Malawi Orchids Volume 1 Epiphytic Orchids National Fauna Preservation Society of Malawi Pages 60 - 61. (Includes a picture).

La Croix, I. et al. (1991). Orchids of Malawi A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam Page 261. (Includes a picture).

Williamson, G. (1977). The Orchids of South Central Africa J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., London. Pages 202 - 203. As Tridactyle sp. (Williamson & Nelson 388) (Includes a picture).

Other sources of information about Cardiochilos williamsonii:

External websites:

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

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: Cardiochilos williamsonii., retrieved 17 April 2024

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