(pronounced: boh-NAT-ee-ah)


Orchideae subtribe Habenariinae. Bonatea is merged with a broadly defined Habenaria by some authors. It differs by having the bases of the lateral sepals, the anterior lobes of the petals, the claw of the lip and the stigmatic processes united for most of

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Large erect terrestrials arising from fleshy and tuberous roots. Stems unbranched, leafy. Leaves basal-rosulate or scattered along the stem, not articulate, sometimes withering prior to flowering. Inflorescences terminal. Flowers one to many. Dorsal sepal free, forming a hood, the lateral sepals fused to the base of the lip. Petals two-lobed, the upper lobes fused to the dorsal sepal, the lower lobes fused to the stigmatic arms and lip. Lip three-lobed, fused to the column at the base, with a short to elongate spur, the spur pendent, slightly swollen towards the apex. Column complex, the anther erect, with adjacent, parallel locules, the stigmatic processes elongate, the lower part fused to the lip, the upper part club-shaped; pollinaria 2, the pollinia sectile, each with a long caudicle and minute viscidium.


Honoring M. Bonat, Professor of Botany at Padua University, Padova, Italy.


A genus of 20 species in mainland Africa with one species in Yemen.

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James, M. L. 1985. Species of the S. W. Cape, Bonatea speciosa. S. Afr. Orchid J. 16(4):167.

Kidson, S. J. and E. Fletcher 1984. Bonatea porrecta (H. Bolus) Summerh. S. Afr. Orchid J. 15(2):56-57.

Kidson, S. J. and E. Fletcher 1985. Bonatea antennifera Rolfe. S. Afr. Orchid J. 16(3):119-121.

Kurzweil, H. 1989. An investigation of the floral morphogenesis of Bonatea speciosa (Orchidaceae). S. Afr. J. Bot. 55:433-437.

McDonald, G. J. 1991. Bonatea bracteata, a new species from Natal and the Transvaal. S. Afr. Orchid J. 22(2):29-32.

Robbins, S. 1990. Bonatea steudneri, a new record of an orchid in Saudi Arabia. Orchid Rev. 98(1163):298-299.

Truter, J. 1994. Bonatea bracteata, new localities for this orchids in the Transvaal. S. Afr. Orchid J. 25(3):93-94.