Nervilia shirensis (Rolfe) Schltr.

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Nervilia shirensis

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near Cloud Pool, Gorongosa National Park, Muanza.

Nervilia shirensis

Photo: Bart Wursten
Near Cloud Pool, Gorongosa National Park, Muanza.

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Synonyms: Nervilia buchananii (Rolfe) Schltr.
Pogonia buchananii Rolfe
Pogonia shirensis Rolfe
Common names:
Status: Native
Erect terrestrial herb up to 45 cm tall. Leaf solitary, erect, appearing after the flowers are finished, ovate to almost round, up to 16 × 11 cm, truncate or slightly cordate at the base, obtuse to acute at the apex, green on both surfaces, pleated with 6-10 veins; petiole 5.5-17 cm long. Inflorescence (1)2-3-flowered. Petals and sepals similar, greenish-yellow with reddish veins and tinge, linear lanceolate, 25-45 mm long; petals slightly shorter than sepals. Lip 20-40 mm long, cream to pale yellow, with prominent purple-red veins, 3-lobed; mid-lobe vate, reflexed, with 2 parallel fleshy ridges; side lobes oblong, erect, enclosing the column.
Notes: The specimen in the images (BW692) appears to be a first record for the MS division, both much further South and at much lower altitude than has been recorded before.
Derivation of specific name: shirensis: of the Shire Highlands in Malawi, where the type specimen was collected.
Habitat: In Brachystegia woodland, riverine forest, grassland and pine plantations.
Altitude range: 100 - 1950 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Angola, DRC, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Mozambique distribution: N,Z
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Friday 10 July 2015

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 331.

Cribb, P.J. (1984). Orchidaceae (Part 2) Flora of Tropical East Africa Page 279.

Fibeck, W. & Dare, M. (1993). Terrestrial Orchids in Zimbabwe. Excelsa 16 Page 68.

Grosvenor, R.K. (1976). A list of orchids indigenous in Rhodesia. Excelsa 6 Page 84.

La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1995). Orchidaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 11(1) Pages 266 - 268. (Includes a picture).

La Croix, I. et al. (1991). Orchids of Malawi A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam Pages 170 - 171. (Includes a picture).

La Croix, I.F. & La Croix T.M. (1983). Orchids of Bvumbwe The Society of Malawi Journal 36(2) Page 17.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 97.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 123.

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 138.

Williamson, G. (1977). The Orchids of South Central Africa J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd., London. Page 143.

Other sources of information about Nervilia shirensis:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Nervilia shirensis
Flora of Zambia: Nervilia shirensis
Flora of Zimbabwe: Nervilia shirensis

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Nervilia shirensis
African Plant Database: Nervilia shirensis
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Nervilia shirensis
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Nervilia shirensis
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Nervilia shirensis
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Nervilia shirensis
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Nervilia shirensis
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Nervilia shirensis
iNaturalist: Nervilia shirensis
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Nervilia shirensis
JSTOR Plant Science: Nervilia shirensis
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Nervilia shirensis
Kew Monocotyledon checklist: Nervilia shirensis
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Nervilia shirensis
Plants of the World Online: Nervilia shirensis
Tropicos: Nervilia shirensis
Wikipedia: Nervilia shirensis

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave 2007-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Mozambique: Species information: Nervilia shirensis., retrieved 27 March 2023

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