African Plant Database

Eulophia welwitschii (Rchb. f.) Rolfe
Protologue : Bol. Soc. Brot. 7: 236 (1889)
Information on the genus : Eulophia
Basionym : Orthochilus welwitschii Rchb. f.
Status for SA : rejected (present), is synonym of : Orthochilus welwitschii Rchb. f.
Status for TA : rejected (present), is synonym of : Orthochilus welwitschii Rchb. f.
Synonym(s) Homotypic
 Orthochilus welwitschii Rchb. f.
Ecology and distribution
Trop. Afr.
Biology : Terrestrial herb to 30 cm tall; leaves linear, grass-like, developing during anthesis, 14-30x0,3 cm; inflorescence lax, 6-10-flowered; flowers subnutant, orange, without contrasting blotch; bracts lanceolate, 18-25 mm long; pedicel and ovary 10-20 mm long; sepals lanceolate, 19-33x5-9 mm; petals lanceolate, 20-30x5-9 mm; lip 18-30 mm long, 10-16 mm wide, 3-lobed in basal 1/3; side lobes small; mid-lobe ovate, 10-18x9-17 mm, edges ± undulate; callus of 2 ridges at base of lip, with some papillae in centre of mid-lobe; spur cylindrical, c. 5 mm long.
Ecology : Brachystegia woodland on Kalahari sand; in sandy places among Proteaceae; c. 1400 m alt.
  S. Africa, Swaziland.
  The record from Ivory Coast, Lamto, figuring on the map in Chatelain & al., Cartes de distribution des plantes de Côte d’Ivoire (2011) and based on a collection by N. Stäuble, seems to be erroneous. No herbarium specimen is present at G or at Abidjan (pers. comm. C. Chatelain). Note: Geerinck (Taxonom. 14: 7-12, 2004, and 16: 8-9, 2005) treats E. welwitschii in a broad sense, recognising 3 subspecies, viz. subsp. welwitschii, subsp. aurantiaca (Rolfe) Geerinck, and subsp. carsonii (Rolfe) Geerinck. We have not followed this concept. Cf. also the comments made by I. la Croix & Cribb in Fl. Zambes. 11/2: 509, 1998. They conclude that the 3 “species are easily distinguished, especially in the field, and until further work is done on this whole group” [E. abyssinica] they keep them separate. The characters used by Geerinck (2005) to key out the taxa are: flower colour, length of petals, shape of spur (cf. Geerinck in Taxonom. 14: 7-11, 2004).
South. Afr.
Biol./Eco : perennial-Herb, Geophyte- Ht 0.25 - 0.9 m. Alt: 565 - 1980 m. Distribution: LES, EC, FS, GA, KN, LP, MP, NW, SWZ

Bibliography for Tropical Africa :
  • Exell, A. & Wild, H. (1998). Flora Zambesiaca: Mozambique, Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, Bechuanaland Protectorate. London Kew 11[2]: 508-509

Bibliography for Southern Africa :
  • Fl. Pl. South Africa 3: t.119 (1923).
  • Orchids of Southern Africa : 388-389 (1999).
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Record n°45788 modified 2007-04-05
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