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This genus is accepted, and its native range is SW. Tanzania to S. Africa.
A specimen from Kew's Herbarium

[FZ]

Orchidaceae, I. la Croix & P.J. Cribb. Flora Zambesiaca 11:1. 1995

Morphology General Habit
Terrestrial herb with perennating tubers.
Vegetative Multiplication Tubers
Tubers 1–5 cm long, testicular.
Morphology Stem
Stems slender, mostly flexuose, 5–80 cm tall.
Morphology Leaves
Basal sheath(s) hyaline or white, less than 5 cm long, obtuse or acute. Leaves 5–30, linear, rarely elliptic, narrowly oblanceolate or ovate; lower leaves with free blades up to 15 cm long, acute, midrib prominent below; upper leaves lanceolate to narrowly lanceolate, acuminate, erect, grading into the floral bracts.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence mostly nodding, lax to dense; bracts narrowly ovate to narrowly lanceolate, usually acuminate, green, about as long as the ovary.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers white, white and yellow, yellow or white with a mauve tint, 1.5–10 mm in diameter.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals subequal, usually 3-nerved; lateral sepals suboblique, to 14 mm long, lanceolate to ovate, acute; dorsal sepal usually shorter than the lateral sepals, narrowly to broadly elliptic, or elliptic-oblong to rotund, often apiculate, shallowly galeate.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals one third to two thirds as long as the sepals, single-veined, oblique, ± rhomboid and acute.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Labellum
Lip about as long as the sepals, epichile ± 3-lobed with the central lobe longer than the lateral lobes, hypochile concave, leading into the spur, frequently with calli between hypochile and epichile; spur terete to bifid, slender to clavate, almost always shorter than the lip, generally straight.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Column
Rostellum 3-lobed, the central lobe a fold between the anther cells, the lateral lobes square, carrying the naked viscidia.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens Anthers
Anther erect or at an angle of 45°, 0.5–1.5 mm long.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Stigma
Stigma flat, single, borne on the column below the rostellum, above the entrance to the spur.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary 4–14 mm long, flowers not resupinate.

[FTEA]

Orchidaceae, V. S. Summerhayes. Flora of Tropical East Africa. 1968

Morphology General Habit
Terrestrial herbs up to 50 cm. in height, with ellipsoid or oblong tubers
Morphology Stem
Stems leafy in the lower part, with sheaths above, rather slender
Morphology Leaves
Leaves basal or sub-basal, sometimes forming a rosette, linear or ligulate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers many, in a ± dense cylindrical terminal raceme, yellow, orange or white; bracts usually shorter than the flowers
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Sepals free, ovate, ovate-lanceolate or elliptical, the dorsal convex, the laterals oblique, ascending
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Petals free, usually considerably smaller than the sepals, lanceolate to suborbicular
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Labellum
Lip united to the column at the base, oblong or elliptical, 3-lobed, usually with 3 calli below the base of the middle lobe but rarely only verrucose there, spurred at the base
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Column
Column erect, short; anther-loculi parallel, canals almost absent; caudicles of pollinia short, viscidia naked; stigma fleshy, concave, sessile, rostellum middle lobe small, tooth-like, the side lobes larger and surrounding the viscidia
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsules ovoid or oblong.

[O-EM]
Distribution

Schizochilus comprises 11 species in the summer-rainfall region in southern and south-central Africa as far north as southern Tanzania. (PL, HK).

General Description

Slender terrestrial herbs with testicular tubers and a few unbranched roots. Stem to 80 cm tall, glabrous, green, erect. Leaves basal and/or cauline, linear to rarely elliptic, narrowly oblanceolate or ovate, acute, glabrous; lower leaves 5-30, usually semi-erect with a prominent midrib; cauline leaves smaller, above grading into the floral bracts. Inflorescence terminal, sparse to dense, usually nodding; bracts green, acuminate, ovate to narrowly lanceolate, generally as long as the ovaries. Flowers non-resupinate, 1.5-10 mm in diameter, white, white and yellow, yellow, or white with a mauve or pink tint. Dorsal sepal narrowly to broadly elliptic or elliptic-oblong to round, often apiculate, shallowly galeate. Lateral sepals suboblique, lanceolate to ovate, more or less acute, slightly larger than the dorsal sepal. Petals a a 1/3-2/3 as long as the sepals, single-veined, oblique, usually more or less rhomboid and acute, free from the lip and column. Labellum as long as the sepals, the epichile more or less three-lobed with the central lobe longer than the lateral lobes; hypochile concave, leading into the spur, frequently with calli between the hypochile and epichile; spur cylindrical to bifid, slender to clavate, always shorter than the lip, generally straight. Column erect, slender; anther thecae erect or angled to 45°, parallel and adjacent; lateral appendages small; pollinia sectile, with short caudicles and two small naked viscidia; stigma flat, above the entrance to the spur; rostellum three-lobed with small central lobe, lateral lobes square, carrying the viscidia. (PL, HK).

Ecology

The typical habitat of Schizochillus is damp montane grassland where it often grows in shallow soils and in moss seepages over rocks, usually at elevations ranging from 1500 to 3000 m. Localities for the genus include the high-rainfall areas of eastern South Africa, but some species have also been recorded at much lower elevations on the Transkei coast (Sc helpe 1966). Schizocbillls perennates by means of tubers and usually flowers in the spring or summer, often appearin g after fire. Populations of the dimorphic species, S. cecilii Rolfe, are unusual in that they may in clude both white and yellow flower colour forms (la Croix and Cribb 1995). In a recent survey for the IUCN (IUCN Orchid Specialist Group 1996) P. Linder cited potential affore ration of montane and mid-elevation grasslands as a principal risk to survival of some Schizochilus species such as the endemic S. gerrardii (Rchb.f) Bolus, which is, restricted to one area of grassland in northern Natal (Linder 1980). Witbin the range of the genus, some taxa have restricted distributions. Schizochilus cecilii subsp. cecilii is known only from the area of Nyanga in Zimbabwe, and S. calcaratus Cribb & la Croix is found only in the Chimanimani Mountains. Other species are more widespread, such as S. sulphureus, which occurs in mountains and plateaus in Malawi and Mozambique and the southern highlands of Tanzania (la Croix and Cribb 1995). (RN.)

Native to:

Cape Provinces, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Northern Provinces, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zimbabwe

Schizochilus Sond. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Hall, A.V. [865], South Africa 30008.000
Williamson, G. [268], Zambia 34440.000

First published in Linnaea 19: 78 (1846)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-71827. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Pridgeon, A.M., Cribb, P.J., Chase, M.C. & Rasmussen, F.N. (2001). Orchidoideae (Part 1) Genera Orchidacearum 2: 1-416. Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford.

Literature

Flora Zambesiaca

  • Linder in J. S. African Bot. 46: 379–434 (1980).
  • in Linnaea 19: 78 (1846).

Flora of Tropical East Africa

  • in Linnaea 19: 78 (1846)

Flora Zambesiaca
Flora Zambesiaca
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Orchideae: e-monocot.org
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