Cynorkis Thouars in Nouv. Bull. Sci. Soc. Philom. Paris 1: 317 (1809).
Amphorchis Thouars, Hist. Orchid.: t. 4 (1822).
Cynorchis Thouars, Hist. Orchid.: t. 13 (1822), orth. var.
Cynosorchis Thouars, Hist. Orchid.: t. 14 (1822), orth. var.
Bicornella Lindl., Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl.: 334 (1835).
Barlaea Rchb.f., Linnaea 41: 54 (1876).
Acrostylia Frapp. ex Cordem., Fl. Réunion: 227 (1895).
Camilleugenia Frapp. ex Cordem., Fl. Réunion: 234 (1895).
Hemiperis Frapp. ex Cordem., Fl. Réunion: 235 (1895).
Forsythmajoria Kraenzl. ex Schltr., Orchideen: 73 (1914), nom. inval.
Helorchis Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 33: 35 (1924).
Lemuranthe Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 33: 84 (1924).
Microtheca Schltr., Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 33: 76 (1924).
Lowiorchis Szlach., Orchidee (Hamburg) 55: 314 (2004).
Imerinorchis Szlach., Orchidee (Hamburg) 56: 68 (2005).
Monadeniorchis Szlach. & Kras, Richardiana 6: 178 (2006), nom. nud.
Terrestrial, or occasionally epiphytic, herb with fleshy or tuberous roots. Stem, ovary and calyx often with glandular hairs. Leaves 1 to several, radical, with a few sheath-like and cauline. Flowers few to many in a terminal raceme, usually resupinate, pink, mauve or purple, occasionally white. Sepals free or slightly adnate to the lip, the dorsal often forming a hood with the petals, the lateral sepals spreading. Lip entire or 3–5-lobed, spurred at the base. Column short and broad; androclinium erect or sloping; anther loculi parallel, the canals short or long and slender; viscidia 2, rarely 1, auricles distinct; stigmatic processes oblong, papillose, usually joined to the lobes of the rostellum. Side lobes of rostellum usually elongated; mid-lobe often large, projecting forwards. Capsules oblong or fusiform, often ripe at the base of an inflorescence which is still flowering at the apex.
Cynorkis species usually grow in relatively wet habitats including marshes, swamps, bogs with sphagnum or tall grass, damp grassland, banks of watercourses, in crevices on seepage slopes or on grass overlying rock slabs. Some species grow in leaf litter or on rotting logs in forest in high rainfall woodland, or in pine plantations and sometimes in deep shade. Most Cynorkis species grow at elevations of between 600-2300 m.
Trop. & S. Africa, W. Indian Ocean
All species, even the epiphytic ones, have a long resting season when they should be kept cooler and dry. They do well at intermediate temperatures and need a freely draining terrestrial mix. Most require shady, humid conditions while in active growth, but like most terrestrials need to be watered carefully in the early stages, or the shoots will rot at the base. Most species seem to self-pollinate, and capsules develop and quickly shed seed, which frequently germinates in pots of other orchids growing nearby. If left undisturbed for a couple of years, these will develop small tubers that will grow on when potted up.
The large genus Cynorkis with about 125 species was first described by the French botanist A. du Petit Thouars in 1809. The genus name, sometimes incorrectly spelled Cynorchis or Cynosorchis, is derived from the Greek words kynos (dog) and orchis (testicle), in reference to the appearance of the usually paired tubers. In the wild, many species often form large colonies where they occur. Most species are native to Madagascar, but about 20 are known from tropical and South Africa..
Six sections were recognized by Perrier de la Bˆathie (1939, 1941), but this publication, cited by Perrier (1939) was never published.
Cynorkis Section Lemuranthe Schltr.
Rostellum arms very short, adnate to the lobes of the anther and not longer than the median in a narrow, obtuse lamina, attached to the connective appendage of the anther, between the lobes of the anther; channel and cauda nearly absent (to nearly l mm long).
Cynorkis Section Hemiperis H. Perr.
Plants generally thin, inflorescence often loosely several flowered; flowers of small or average size, sometimes inverted. Rostellum in a flat. horizontal, often dentate or apically lobed lamina, with teeth or lobules on the same plain, always very short; channel of the anther joined by the lamina of the rostellum, the viscidium resting on the apical teeth or lobes. Lateral sepals and petals often slightly joined basally to the labellum.
Cynorkis Section Imerinorchis H. Perr.
Rostellum divided into 2 separate arms nearly to the base of the connective appendage of the anther, the median lobe shooting up nearly from its base, reduced to a slight projection, or more or less developed into a narrow, contracted. attached-connective lamina between the two lobes of the anther; lateral sepals and petals more or less joined basally to the labellum.
Cynorkis Section Monadeniorchis H. Perr.
Rostellum very elongated (5-6 mm from the anther to the tip) attenuate-plaice, hull shaped and entire apically, provided above with a median hollowed hull, truncate in front and elongated with a small incurved, gutter-like rostrum above the viscidium; cauda and channel joined by a common viscidium, placed below the small rostrum which is at the apex of the rostellum; labellum entire, plaice in a narrow hull, very concave below.
Cynorkis Section Gibbosorchis H. Perr.
Rostellum entire with one part longer in front of the anther, divided and 3 lobed (2 arms and a median lobe), median lobe not inferior, supplementary; the arms to at least l mm long; median lobe obscurely ascending in front base of the lateral sepals and petals free or more or less joined basally; flowers generally large and brilliant, Labellum often 4 lobed (trilobed with the median lobe bifid).
Cynorkis Section Lowiorchis H. Perr.
Rostellum with long or short arms, always entire to a certain distance in front of the anther, median lobe double, bilabiate or almost, the superior lip reduced with 1-2 small, projecting, obtuse, or to the contrary developed in an obliquely ascending lamina, the inferior part membranous, forming a gutter or curved lobe; labellum always 4 lobed, or trilobed with the median lobe more or less deeply bifid.
Cynorkis species not on location
Bibliography and References:
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