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Family: Orchidaceae (orchids)

Life > eukaryotes > Archaeoplastida > Chloroplastida > Charophyta > Streptophytina > Plantae (land plants) > Tracheophyta (vascular plants) > Euphyllophyta > Lignophyta (woody plants) > Spermatophyta (seed plants) > Angiospermae (flowering plants) > Monocotyledons > Order: Asparagales

There are about 800 genera and 20 000 (cosmopolitan, but mainly in moist regions), of which 63 genera and about 681 species are native to southern Africa. An additional 100 genera and 390 species are cultivated in the region.

Genera native to southern Africa

List from Kurzweil (2000).

Acampe

Ten species (Old World tropics, mainly Asia) of which one, Acampe pachyglossa, is native to southern Africa (Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Mozambique). See Flora of Zimbabwe. An additional species from India and Sri Lanka, Acampe praemorsa, is cultivated in the region.

Acrolophia

Seven species, endemic to southern Africa.

Aerangis

About 50 species (Africa and Mascarene Islands), of which eight are native to southern Africa. An additional five species are cultivated in the region. Pollinated by hawkmoths. 

Aeranthes

Two species native to southern Africa and three species cultivated.

 

Angraecopsis

Fifteen species worldwide, of which three are native to southern Africa.

Angraecum

About 200 species (Africa, Madagascar and Mascarene Islands, Sri Lanka), of which 11 are native to southern Africa. An additional seven species are cultivated in the region.

Ansellia

One species: Ansellia africana (tropical Africa through to southern Africa). See Flora of Zimbabwe.

Bartholina

Two species, endemic to southern Africa (S Namibia, Northern Cape, Western Cape, Eastern Cape).

Bolusiella

Five species (tropical and southern Africa), of which two, Bolusiella maudiae and Bolusiella iridifolia (recorded from Zimbabwe), are native to southern Africa.

Bonatea

Twenty species (Arabian Peninsula to E Africa to southern Africa), of which 10 are native to southern Africa.

Bonatea speciosa

Brachycorythis

Thirty-three species (Africa and tropical Asia) of which 10 are native to southern Africa (summer rainfall regions).

Brownleea

Seven species (Africa and Madagascar), all of which are native to southern Africa.

Bulbophyllum

About 1000 species (world tropics and subtropics), of which 12 are native to southern Africa. An additional six species are cultivated in the region.

Calanthe

About 200 species (Asia, Australasia and Madagascar), of which one, Calanthe sylvatica, is native to southern Africa. See Flora of Zimbabwe.

Calyptrochilum

One species native to southern Africa - Calyptrochilum christyanum (recorded from Zimbabwe).

Centrostigma

Three species (south tropical Africa), of which two, Centrostigma occultans and Centrostigma papillosum (recorded from Zimbabwe), are native to southern Africa.

Ceratandra

Six species, endemic to Western Cape and Eastern Cape.

Chaseella

Chaseella pseudohydra is native to southern Africa, recorded from Zimbabwe.

Cheirostylis

About 22 species (Old World tropics and subtropics) of which one, Cheirostylis gymnochiloides, is native to southern Africa (KwaZulu-Natal and Zimbabwe).

Corycium

The fourteen species are all native to southern Africa but the genus is distributed as far north as Malawi and Tanzania.

Corymborkis

Five species (Old and New World tropics), with one species, Corymborkis corymbis, native to southern Africa (KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape).

Cynorkis

About 125 species (Madagascar, Mascarene Islands, Africa), with six species native to southern Africa.

Cyrtorchis

About 16 species (Africa), with four species native to southern Africa. An additional species is cultivated in the region.

Diaphananthe

About 50 species (tropical and subtropical Africa), with four species native to southern Africa. An additional species is cultivated in the region.

Didymoplexis

About 20 species (mainly Asian tropics, also Africa), with two species native to southern Africa.

Disa

About 162 species (Africa, Arabian Peninsula, Madagascar and Mascarene Islands), with 149 species native to southern Africa.

Disperis

About 84 species (Africa, Madagascar, East Asia), with 30 species native to southern Africa.

Dracomonticola

One species, Dracomonticola virginea, found in rock crevices and grassy ledges in the Drakensberg (KwaZulu-Natal and Lesotho).

Eulophia

About 250 species (pantropical), with 80 species native to southern Africa.

Evotella

One species, Evotella rubiginosa, endemic to the Western Cape and regarded as rare.

Goodyera

One species native to southern Africa, Goodyera afzelii, recorded from Mozambique.

Habenaria

About 800 species (tropics and subtropics), with 75 species native to southern Africa. An additional species is cultivated in the region.

Holothrix

About 55 species (Africa and Arabian Peninsula), with 23 species native to southern Africa.

Huttonaea

Five species, endemic to southern Africa.

Jumellea

About 45 species (mainly Madagascar and Mascarene Islands, also Africa), with one species, Jumellea filicornoides, native to southern Africa. An additional two species are cultivated in the region.

Liparis

About 250 species (cosmopolitan), with nine species native to southern Africa. An additional three species are cultivated in the region.

Margelliantha

One species recorded in southern Africa - Margelliantha caffra. [= Diaphananthe caffra]

Microcoelia

About 27 species (Africa and Madagascar), with six species native to southern Africa.

Mystacidium

Nine species (southern and south-central Africa), of which eight occur in southern Africa.

Neobolusia

Three species (eastern, central and southern Africa), all occurring in southern Africa.

Nervilia

About 60 species (Africa, Asia and Australia), with 11 species native to southern Africa.

Oberonia

About 100 species (mainly Asian tropics, also Australasia and Africa), with one species, Oberonia disticha, native to southern Africa.

Oeceoclades

Thirty-one species (pantropical), with six species native to southern Africa.

Oligophyton

One species, Oligophyton drummondii, native to tropical Africa (including Zimbabwe).

Pachites

Two rare species, endemic to the Western Cape.

Phaius

One species native to southern Africa - Phaius occidentalis (recorded from Zimbabwe).

Platycoryne

Six species native to southern Africa.

Platylepis

About 10 species (African and Mascarene Islands), with one species, Platylepis glandulosa, native to southern Africa (KwaZulu-Natal, Zimbabwe and Mozambique).

Polystachya

About 200 species (mainly Africa, also Asian, Australasian and American tropics), with 27 species native to southern Africa. An additional three species are cultivated in the region.

Pterygodium

Nineteen species, all of which are native to southern Africa.

Rangaeris

Six species (tropical and subtropical Africa, with two species, Rangaeris muscicola(KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Zimbabwe, see Flora of Zimbabwe) and Rangaeris amaniensis (recorded from Zimbabwe, see Flora of Zimbabwe), recorded in southern Africa. Pollinated by hawkmoths.

Rhipidoglossum

Three species recorded in southern Africa.

Satyrium

About 88 species (Africa, to East Asia), with 54 species native to southern Africa.

Schizochilus

Eleven species (eastern and southern Africa), with 10 species native to southern Africa.

Schwartzkopffia

One species native to southern Africa - Schwartzkopffia lastii (recorded from Zimbabwe).

Solenangis

Five species (tropical Africa, Madagascar, Mascarene Islands), with two species, Solenangis aphylla and Solenangis conica (recorded from Zimbabwe and Mozambique, see Flora of Zimbabwe), native to southern Africa.

Stenoglottis

Seven species recorded in southern Africa.

Stolzia

Three species native to southern Africa.

Summerhayesia

One species native to southern Africa, Summerhayesia zambesiaca, recorded from Zimbabwe.

Taeniophyllum

One species, Taeniophyllum coxii, native to tropical Africa (including Zimbabwe).

Tridactyle

About 42 species (sub-Saharan Africa), with seven species native to southern Africa. An additional two species are cultivated in the region.

Vanilla

About 100 species (tropics), with two species native to southern Africa. In addition, the plant used as the natural source of vanilla, Vanilla planifolia (which originates from Central and South America), is cultivated in the region.

Ypsilopus

Four species (East Africa through to southern Africa), with one species, Ypsilopus erectus (see Flora of Zimbabwe), native to southern Africa

Zeuxine

About 76 species (Old World tropics and subtropics), with three species native to southern Africa.

Other genera, cultivated in southern Africa

List from Glen (2002). The species name is provided for genera where only one species has been recorded as being cultivated in southern Africa.

Acriopsis javanica (Ruhini, Angrek darat)

Indigenous from Thailand to Australia.

 

Aerides

Six species cultivated.

 

Angraecopsis amaniensis

Native to tropical Africa.

 

Anguloa ruckerii

Native to Colombia.

 

Ania penangiana

Indigenous from northeast India to Malaysia.

 

Anoectochilus formosanus

Native to Taiwan and Japan.

 

Ascocentrum

Four species cultivated.

 

Ascoglossum calopterum

Native to New Guinea.

 

Bifrenaria inodora

Native to Brazil.

 

Bletia catenulata

Indigenous from Colombia to Bolivia.

 

Bletilla

Three species cultivated.

 

Bothriochilus

Two species cultivated.

 

Brassavola

Four species cultivated.

 

Brassia

Four species cultivated.

 

Cadetia taylorii

Native to Australia.

 

Calyptrochilum christyanum

Native to tropical Africa.

 

Catasetum

Two species cultivated.

 

Cattleya

Eight species cultivated.

 

Chondrorhyncha amazonica

Native to tropical South America.

 

Cirrhopetalum sikkimense

Native to the eastern Himalayas.

 

Cochlioda noezliana

Native to Peru and Bolivia.

 

Coelogyne

Five species cultivated.

 

Cribbia brachyceras

Native to tropical Africa.

 

Cryptophoranthus

Two species cultivated.

 

Cryptopus elatus

Native to the Mascarene Islands.

 

Cymbidium

Six species cultivated.

 

Cyperorchis

Two species cultivated.

 

Cypripedium

Three species cultivated

 

Cyrtopodium punctatum

Indigenous from Costa Rica to Brazil.

 

Dendrobium

Fifty-eight species cultivated.

 

Dendrochilum glumaceum

Native to the Philippines.

 

Dimerandra stenopetala

 

Diplocaulobium chrysotropis

Native to New Guinea.

 

Dracula

Ten species cultivated.

 

Elleanthus wagenerii

Native to Venezuela.

 

Embreea rodigasiana

Native to Colombia and Ecuador.

 

Encyclia

Two species cultivated.

 

Epidendrum

Nine species and one hybrid cultivated.

Eria inornata

Native to Australia.

 

Eriopsis biloba

Indigenous from Costa Rica to Bolivia.

 

Gastrochilus

Five species cultivated.

 

Graphorkis scripta

Native to Madagascar and Mascarene Islands.

 

Grobya amherstiae

Native to Brazil.

 

Haemaria discolor

Native to China.

 

Helcia sanguinolenta

Native to Ecuador.

 

Hexisea bidentata

Indigenous from Central America to Peru.

 

Holcoglossum quasipinifolium

Native to Taiwan.

 

Huntleya fasciata

Native to Panama.

 

Isochilus linearis

Indigenous from Mexico to Brazil.

 

Kefersteinia

Two species cultivated.

 

Laelia

Seven species cultivated.

 

Lanium avicula

Native to Peru and Brazil.

 

Leptotes bicolor

Native to Brazil and Paraguay.

 

Luisia teretifolia

Indigenous from Indonesia to Guam.

 

Lycaste

Five species cultivated.

 

Masdevallia

Thirty-eight species cultivated.

 

Maxillaria

Thirteen species cultivated.

 

Miltonia

Three species cultivated.

 

Mormodes convoluta

Native to Brazil.

 

Neogardneria murrayana

Native to Brazil.

 

Odontoglossum

Ten species cultivated.

 

Oeoniella polystachys

Indigenous from Madagascar to the Seychelles.

 

Oncidium

Twenty-one species cultivated.

 

Orchis graminifolia (Ucho-ran)

Native to Japan.

 

Ornithophora radicans

Native to Brazil.

 

Palumbina candida

Native to Guatemala.

 

Paphiopedilum

Thirteen species cultivated.

 

Pescatorea lehmanii

Native to Colombia and Ecuador.

 

Phaius

Two species cultivated.

 

Phalaenopsis

Five species cultivated.

 

Pholidota pallida

Indigenous from Burma to Australia.

 

Phragmipedium

Three species cultivated.

 

Physosiphon tubatus

Native to Mexico and Guatemala.

 

Plectrophora cultrifolia

Native to Brazil.

 

Pleione

Two species cultivated.

 

Pleurothallis

Five species cultivated.

 

Pogonia japonica

Native to Japan, Korea and China.

 

Porroglossum echidna

Native to Colombia and Ecuador.

 

Promenaea xanthina

Native to Brazil.

 

Renanthera

Four species cultivated.

 

Restrepia antennifera

Indigenous from Venezuela to Ecuador.

 

Rhynchostylis

Two species cultivated.

 

Rodriguezia

Two species cultivated.

 

Sarcochilus japonicus

Native to Japan.

 

Scaphosepalum gibberosum

Native to Colombia.

 

Schlimmia trifida

Native to Colombia.

 

Schomburgkia

Two species cultivated.

 

Scuticaria kautzkyi

Native to Brazil.

 

Sobralia

Three species cultivated.

 

Sophronitella violacea

Native to Brazil.

 

Stanhopea

Four species cultivated.

 

Stelis

Two species cultivated.

 

Thunia

Two species cultivated.

 

Trichoceros parviflorus

Indigenous from Colombia to Bolivia.

 

Trichoglottis

Two species cultivated.

 

Trichoplia

Three species cultivated.

 

Trizeuxis falcata

Indigenous from Costa Rica to Bolivia.

 

Vanda

Seven species cultivated.

 

Xylobium

Two species cultivated.

 

Zygopetalum

Two species cultivated.

 

Links

Publications (by date)

  • Kurzweil, H. 2000. Orchidaceae. In: Seed Plants of Southern Africa (ed. O.A. Leistner). Strelitzia 10: 644-659. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.

  • Glen, H.F. 2002. Cultivated Plants of Southern Africa. Jacana, Johannesburg.

  • Steiner KE, Kaiser R, Dötterl S. 2011. Strong phylogenetic effects on floral scent variation of oil-secreting orchids in South Africa. American Journal of Botany 98(10): 1663-1679. doi: 10.3732/ajb.1100141

 

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