Gastrodia ballii P.J.Cribb & Browning

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Gastrodia ballii

Photo: Mark Hyde

Gastrodia ballii

Photo: Mark Hyde

Gastrodia ballii

Photo: Mark Hyde

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Synonyms: Didymoplexis africana sensu la Croix & Cribb
Gastrodia sp. no. 1 sensu Grosvenor (1976)
Common names:
Frequency: Rare but possibly overlooked
Status: Native
Leafless holomycotrophic herb up to c. 20 cm high, growing from a fusiform tuber up to 4 cm long. Inflorescence densely 1-many-flowered. Flowers spreading or erect, purple-brown. Tepals forming a 2-lipped tube. Sepals all more or less verrucose outside. Lip yellow-green with an apricot tip and a transverse fleshy callus; spur absent. Flowers short-lived and pedicels elongating rapidly as the capsule matures.
Notes: This species was formerly wrongly assumed to be Didymoplexis africana Summerh. which is not found in the Flora Zambesiaca region.
Derivation of specific name: ballii: named after John Ball, orchidologist, who collected the type for this species.
Habitat: In leaf litter in deeply shaded evergreen forest.
Altitude range: Up to 800 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
Mozambique distribution: MS
Growth form(s): Terrestrial.
Endemic status:
Red data list status: Vulnerable
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Content last updated: Saturday 23 July 2016

Ball, J.S. (2009). Terrestrial African Orchids, A Selected Review Pages 174 - 175. (Includes a picture).

Cribb, P.J.,Fischer, E. & Killmann, D. (2010). A revision of Gastrodia (Orchidaceae: Epidendroideae, Gastrodieae) in tropical Africa Kew Bulletin 65(2) Pages 317 - 320. Protologue (Includes a picture).

Fibeck, W. & Dare, M. (1993). Terrestrial Orchids in Zimbabwe. Excelsa 16 Page 55. as Didymoplexis africana

Grosvenor, R.K. (1976). A list of orchids indigenous in Rhodesia. Excelsa 6 Page 82. as Gastrodia sp. no. 1

La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1995). Orchidaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 11(1) Pages 268 - 271. as Didymoplexis africana (Includes a picture).

La Croix, I. et al. (1991). Orchids of Malawi A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam Page 171. as Didymoplexis africana (Includes a picture).

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 95. as Didymoplexis africana

Strugnell, A.M. (2006). A Checklist of the Spermatophytes of Mount Mulanje, Malawi Scripta Botanica Belgica 34 National Botanic Garden of Belgium Page 134. as Didymoplexis africana

Other sources of information about Gastrodia ballii:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Gastrodia ballii
Flora of Zimbabwe: Gastrodia ballii

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Gastrodia ballii
African Plant Database: Gastrodia ballii
Biodiversity Explorer (Biodiversity of southern Africa): Gastrodia ballii
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Gastrodia ballii
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Gastrodia ballii
ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Gastrodia ballii
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Gastrodia ballii
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Gastrodia ballii
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network): Gastrodia ballii
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Gastrodia ballii
JSTOR Plant Science: Gastrodia ballii
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Gastrodia ballii
Kew Monocotyledon checklist: Gastrodia ballii
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Gastrodia ballii
The Plant List (version 1.1): Gastrodia ballii
Tropicos: Gastrodia ballii

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave 2007-19

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2019). Flora of Mozambique: Species information: Gastrodia ballii., retrieved 27 May 2019

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