AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Corymborkis Thouars, Nouv. Bull. Sci. Soc. Philom. Paris 1: 318 (1809).
Synonyms:
Corymbis Thouars, Hist. Orchid.: t. 37 (1822), nom. superfl.
Hysteria Reinw., Syll. Pl. Nov. 2: 5 (1825).
Rhynchanthera Blume, Bijdr., Tabell.: 78 (1826), nom. illeg.
Macrostylis Breda, Gen. Sp. Orchid. Asclep.: t. 2 (1827), nom. illeg.
Tomotris Raf., Fl. Tellur. 2: 89 (1837).
Rhynchandra Rchb., Deut. Bot. Herb.-Buch: 56 (1841).
Corymborchis Thouars ex Blume, Coll. Orchid.: 125 (1859), orth. var.
Description:
Herbs terrestrial, with short rhizomes and tufted slender roots. Stem rather long, sometimes to 2--3 m, often several arising from one rhizome, not branched, somewhat slender, but slightly lignified. Leaves many, distichous, often large, plicate, papery, base contracted into clasping sheaths. Panicles lateral, 1--4 per leaf axil, conspicuously shorter than leaves, branched; peduncle often enclosed in leaf sheaths. Flowers distichously arranged, scented. Pedicel short. Sepals and petals rather long and narrow, base connivent; abaxial sepal somewhat adnate to petals and column. Petals usually greenish white to yellow, slightly broader than sepals; labellum ca. as long as petals or slightly shorter, embracing column, usually with 2 longitudinal ridges. Column erect, slender, usually slightly shorter than labellum, apex dilated and with 2 auricles; anther inserted on abaxial side of column, suboblong or ovate-oblong; pollinia 2, granular-farinaceous, sectile; caudicle slender; viscidium subpeltate; stigma with 2 outcurved lobes; rostellum erect, higher than anther, apex 2-lobed. Capsule with 6 conspicuous ridges, apex with persistent column.
Type species: C. corymbis Thouars.
Distribution:
Trop. & Subtrop.
Cultivation:
Not in cultivation
Species:

Corymborkis corymbis Thouars, Trop. & S. Africa, W. Indian Ocean.
Corymborkis minima P.J.Cribb Cameroon to Equatorial Guinea.

World Checklist of Monocotyledons. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; http://www.kew.org/wcsp/monocots/ accessed 1/16/2010
Bibliography and References:
Cribb P. 1996 New species and records of Orchidaceae from West Africa. Kew Bull. 51. (2): 353-363 (1996)
Du Puy DJ, Du Puy BP. 1989 An extraordinary population of Corymborkis veratrifolia on Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. Orchid Rev. 97. (1147): 163-166 (1989)
Hennessy EF. 1985 Corymborkis corymbis. Flow. Pl. Afr., 48. (3-4): pl. 1908 (1985) - illus., col. illus. Icones. Geog=5 (KR, 198501926).
Kurzweil H. 1988 Developmental studies in orchid flowers III: Neottioid species. Nordic J. Bot. 8. 271-82.
Rasmussen FN. 1977 The genus Corymborkis Thou. (Orchidaceae): a taxonomic revision. Bot. Tidsskr. 71. (3 - 4): 161 - 192 (1977)