Hypoxis polystachya Welw. ex Baker

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Hypoxis polystachya

Photo: Bart Wursten
Parking area Zovo Chipolo Trail, Nyika National Park

Hypoxis polystachya

Photo: Bart Wursten
Parking area Zovo Chipolo Trail, Nyika National Park

Hypoxis polystachya

Photo: Bart Wursten
Parking area Zovo Chipolo Trail, Nyika National Park

Hypoxis polystachya

Photo: Bart Wursten
Parking area Zovo Chipolo Trail, Nyika National Park

Hypoxis polystachya

Photo: Bart Wursten
Parking area Zovo Chipolo Trail, Nyika National Park

Hypoxis polystachya

Photo: Bart Wursten
Parking area Zovo Chipolo Trail, Nyika National Park

Hypoxis polystachya

Photo: Bart Wursten
Parking area Zovo Chipolo Trail, Nyika National Park

Hypoxis polystachya

Photo: Bart Wursten
Parking area Zovo Chipolo Trail, Nyika National Park

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Hypoxis katangensis Nel
Hypoxis multiflora Nel.
Hypoxis orbiculata Nel
Hypoxis pedicellata Nel
Hypoxis subspicata Pax
Common names:
Frequency:
Status: Native
Description:
Robust perennial herb to 75 cm tall. Rhizome vertical, 3–5 × 4–6 cm, subglobose or hemispheric with a flat base, or up to c. 8 cm long and ± cylindrical, with numerous stout contractile roots about the middle. Leaves (3)5–9(12), ± rigidly erect, becoming lax, usually conduplicate with narrowly funnel-shaped sheaths broadly membranous-hyaline on the margins; lamina increasing to c. 75 cm long, 0.5–2 cm wide (width measured when folded blades are spread apart and flattened), linear, gradually tapering to a narrowly acute apex, strongly many-ribbed with ribs ± spaced, thinly loosely pilose to densely spreading pilose-pubescent, more sparsely so on the adaxial (inner) surface, the hairs finely 2–8-armed (stellate), sometimes appressed silvery-strigose on young growth; outermost leaves reduced to membranous sheaths with or without small blades, the entire outer surface ± densely sericeous-lanate to glabrescent; pseudostem 4–20 cm long and up to 12 mm in diameter. Inflorescences 1–5(8), usually appearing with the leaves. Scapes up to c. 37(45) cm long, overtopped by the mature leaves, strongly flattened in cross-section, 2–5 mm wide, width reducing in steps as pedicels diverge, whitish sericeous to spreading pubescent particularly towards the apex and on the margins towards the base; bracts 7–40 mm long, subulate to linear-lanceolate; pedicels erect-ascending, the lower ones 5–25 mm long, the upper decreasing in length. Flowers 3–14(25) in a raceme-like ± cylindrical arrangement 3–13 cm long. Outer tepals 10–18 × 4–5 mm, lanceolate with ± involute margins, silvery strigose-sericeous abaxially, often drying greenish; inner tepals 10–12 × 5–8 mm, broadly elliptic, glabrous except for the abaxial midrib, the hairs unequally 3–6-armed (stellate) usually with one arm strongly developed. Filaments 1.3–1.6 mm long; thecae 3–4.5(5.7) mm long. Style 0.5–1(2.3) mm long; stigma 1–2(3.5) mm long. Capsule 4–8 × 3–6 mm, turbinate, 16- to 20-seeded. Seeds black and glossy, 1.2–1.7 mm in diameter, globose; testa papillose, the papilla minute varying from incipient dome-shaped undulations to sharply conical points, the cuticle smooth and shiny.
Notes:
Derivation of specific name: polystachya: with many stalks, referring the multiple inflorescences the plants often display.
Habitat: In montane grassland and high rainfall woodland.
Altitude range: 900 - 2250 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Angola, DRC, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.
Mozambique distribution: T
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Literature:

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 309. (Includes a picture).

Nordal, I. & Zimudzi, C. (2001). Hypoxidaceae Flora Zambesiaca 12(3) Pages 14 - 15.

Other sources of information about Hypoxis polystachya:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Hypoxis polystachya
Flora of Zambia: Hypoxis polystachya

External websites:

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


Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave 2007-22

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2022). Flora of Mozambique: Species information: Hypoxis polystachya.
https://www.mozambiqueflora.com/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=185170, retrieved 30 November 2022

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