Nervilia shirensis (Rolfe) Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 45: 403 (1911).
Homotypic Synonyms:
Pogonia shirensis Rolfe in D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 7: 187 (1897).
Heterotypic Synonyms:
Pogonia buchananii Rolfe in D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), Fl. Trop. Afr. 7: 187 (1897).
Nervilia buchananii (Rolfe) Schltr., Bot. Jahrb. Syst. 45: 403 (1911).
Erect terrestrial herb (10)15–44 cm tall, glabrous except for lip and subterranean parts. Tuber 1.5–3 × 1.5–2.8 × 0.8–2 cm, subspherical or ovoid, 4–7-noded.Leaf solitary, appearing after flowering, erect to suberect, large, 6–16 cm long and 3.5–11 cm wide, ovate to almost round, glabrous, pleated; apex obtuse to acute or slightly acuminate; base attenuate to truncate or slightly cordate; veins 6–10; petiole 5.5–17 cm long, sulcate with 1–5 sheathing cataphylls when young. Scape erect, terete, (1)2–3-flowered, with 2–4 sheathing cataphylls. Flowers large, more or less secund; bracts 22–31 mm long, linear, setose, acute. Sepals and petals subequal, linear-lanceolate, acute, greenish-yellow with red veins and a general reddish tinge to the outside; lateral sepals slightly oblique, 25–42(45) × 5.2–7.5 mm; petals slightly shorter than sepals. Lip cream or pale yellow with prominent red or purple venation, (19)24–40 × 22–31 mm, ovate, 3-lobed, bearing 2 parallel fleshy pubescent ridges running from base of lip to base of mid-lobe; side lobes oblong, rounded to obtuse, erect, enclosing the column; mid-lobe ovate, obtuse, reflexed. Column curved, 16–25 mm long, clavate, glabrous; anther front rim with 2 protruding teeth; pollinia yellow, 3.9–5.2 mm; stigmatic surface 5–8 mm in diameter. Capsule 14–19 × 12 mm.
Brachystegia woodland, riverine forest, grassland, and in pine, cypress or Gmelina plantations 480–1950 m.
Chad to S. Trop. Africa
Orchid Monographs 5 (1991); La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1995). Orchidaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 11(1); La Croix, I. et al. (1991). Orchids of Malawi A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam; Cribb, P.J. (1984). Orchidaceae (Part 2) Flora of Tropical East Africa
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Habitat/In situ
Nervilia shirensis (Rolfe) Schltr. 01
Photograph© Biodiversity
and Landscape Unit.
Image used with kind