African Plant Database

Eulophia speciosa (R. Br. ex Lindl.) Bolus
Information on the genus : Eulophia
Basionym : Lissochilus speciosus R. Br. ex Lindl.
Status for SA : accepted (present)
Status for TA : accepted (present)
Synonym(s) Homotypic
 Lissochilus speciosus R. Br. ex Lindl.
Synonym(s) Heterotypic
=Eulophia leucantha (Kraenzl.) Sölch
=Lissochilus leucanthus Kraenzl. (1904)
=Eulophia wakefieldii (Rchb. f. & S. Moore) Summerh.
=Lissochilus wakefieldii Rchb. f. & S. Moore
=Lissochilus hereroensis auct.
=Lissochilus calopterus Rchb. f.
=Eulophia caloptera (Rchb. f.) Summerh.
=Eulophia austrooccidentalis Sölch
=Eulophia speciosa var. culveri Schltr.
=Eulophia coutreziana Geerinck
=Eulophia brevisepala (Rendle) Summerh.
=Lissochilus brevisepalus Rendle (1895)
=Eulophia dispersa N.E. Br.
=Lissochilus dispersus (N.E. Br.) Rolfe (1893)
=Eulophia homblei (De Wild.) Butzin
=Lissochilus homblei De Wild. (1919)
=Eulophia sapinii De Wild.
=Eulophia volkensii (Rolfe) Butzin
=Lissochilus volkensii Rolfe (1897)
=Satyrium giganteum L. f. (1782)
=Limodorum giganteum (L. f.) Thunb. (1794)
=Cymbidium giganteum (L. f.) Sw. (1799)
=Epidendrum giganteum (L. f.) Poir. (1810)
=Cyrtopera gigantea (L. f.) Lindl. (1833)
=Lissochilus rendlei Rolfe (1897)
=Lissochilus sapinii De Wild. (1919)
=Lissochilus graniticus Rchb. f. (1878)
Ecology and distribution
Trop. Afr.
Biology : Terrestrial robust “colourful” herb 60-150 cm tall, often forming ± large colonies; tubers irregularly conical, flattened, 4-6x2,5-4 cm, in a chain; leaves 3-6 in a fan, absent at anthesis, fleshy, stiff, narrowly lanceolate, 30-65x1-3 cm, not folded; inflorescence 10-30-flowered, peduncle stout with 3 sheaths near base, rachis 11-29 cm long; flowers variable in size, green (sepals) and yellow (petals, lip), side lobes of lip with purple lines; bracts lanceolate, 4-14 mm long; pedicel and ovary 20-25 mm long; sepals reflexed, ovate, 5-11x2-5 mm; petals spreading, “elephant-ear-like”, elliptic-ovate, 12-16x10-14 mm; lip 12-25 mm long, 10-15 mm wide, 3-lobed; side lobes erect, joined to column at base, reflexed; mid-lobe convex, elliptic, 10-13x8-12 mm; callus of 3-5 broad rugulose fleshy ridges on mid-lobe; spur conical, 1-3 mm long; fruit pendent, c. 35 mm long.
Ecology : In a variety of habitats but mainly Brachystegia woodland; Acacia-Lannea woodland; grassland; deciduous bushland in shade of Euphorbia spp.; scrub; Eucalyptus plantations; amongst young palms in sand; marshy places; seasonally wet grassland; also in brackish swampy coastal grassland; often in poor rocky soils and in sand dunes; 0-2330 m alt.
  Very variable, particularly in stature and flower size.
  N Botswana, Namibia, S. Africa, Swaziland; Saudi Arabia [“known from one locality in Asir. (? Extinct there." Collenette, 1999)], Yemen.
  In cultivation (See C. & M. Baker in Afric. Orchid Alliance Mag. December 1998: 15-17, 1998).
  Experiments with symbiotic seed germination: See Ochora & al. in Syst. Geogr. Pl. 71: 587, 2002. Self-pollinated (Peter & Johnson in S. Afric. J. Bot. 75: 791-793, photo. p. 795, 2009). Bee-pollinated (idem in Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 171: 720, 2013). Sometimes misidentified as E. streptopetala, or E. schweinfurthii “One of the most common terrestrial orchids and one of the most brightly coloured, a cheerful sight at the beginning of the rains” (I. & E. la Croix, Afric. orchids wild & cult.: 224, 1997).
South. Afr.
Biol./Eco : perennial-Herb, Geophyte, Succulent- Ht 0.4 - 0.9 m. Alt: 5 - 1220 m. Distribution: BOT, NAM, EC, KN, LP, MP, WC, SWZ

Bibliography for Tropical Africa :
  • (1989). Flora of Tropical East Africa Orchidaceae[3]: 473

Bibliography for Southern Africa :
  • J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 25: 184 (1889).
  • Fl. Pl. South Africa 5: t.168 (1925).
  • List South. African Succ. Pl. : 130 (1997).
  • Wild Flrs north. South Africa : 114 (1997).
  • Orchids of Southern Africa : 377 (1999).
More info on :
see under Jstor_African Plant Initiative
see under Flora of Mozambique
see under African Plants - a Photo Guide
see under Flora of Zimbabwe
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Record n°45780
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