AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Cheirostylis Blume, Bijdr. 6: t. 1. 1825.
Synonyms:
Gymnochilus Blume, Coll. Orchid.: 107 (1859).
Arisanorchis Hayata, Icon. Pl. Formosan. 4: 109 (1914).
Mariarisqueta Guinea, Ensayo Geobot. Guin. Continent. Espan.: 268 (1946).
Description:
Herbs terrestrial or semi-epiphytic. Rhizomes creeping or ascending, fleshy, somewhat wormlike or moniliform, with many contracted nodes, internodes usually with a few rows of hairy root-ridges. Stem erect, often short, basal half with 2-5 or more leaves, rarely leaves reduced and sheathlike. Leaf blade ovate or cordate, petiolate. Peduncle erect, long or short, hairy or glabrous; raceme terminal, 2- to several flowered. Flowers small, mostly not secund, resupinate. Sepals membranous, usually basal half above middle connate into a tube. Petals adnate to dorsal sepal; labellum often tripartite (3-parted) into hypochile, mesochile, and epichile; hypochile often +/- dilated and saccate, often with callus on lateral veins inside; mesochile contracted into a claw; epichile dilated, often 2-lobed, rarely not lobed, margin fimbriate-lacinate, serrate, or entire; column short, adaxial side near apex with 2 armlike, erect appendages mostly as high as bifid (cleft) rostellum; anther erect, subterminal on abaxial side of column; pollinia 2, each longitudinally 2-parted, granular-farinaceous, sectile, with short or long caudicles, usually attached to a viscidium; rostellum erect, 2-lobed, furcate; stigmas 2, free, convex, rather large, on both sides of rostellum base.
Type species:

Cheirostylis montana Blume.
Distribution:
Trop. & S. Africa to W. Pacific
Cultivation:
Not in cultivation
A key to the genus of Cheirostylis Blume

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 17/02/2015
Bibliography and References:
Stern WL, Morris MW, Judd WS, Pridgeon AM, Dressler RL. 1993 Comparative vegetative anatomy and systematics of Spiranthoideae (Orchidaceae). Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 113. 161-197.
Walters I. 1996 Jewel orchids in the wild (a search of two creeks). Austral. Orchid Rev. 61. (3): 9 (1996)