(pronounced: sir-TOR-kiss)


Vandeae subtribe Aerangidinae

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Monopodial epiphytes and lithophytes. Roots coarse, produced toward the stem base. Stems elongate, branching from the base. Leaves alternate, distichous, linear to oblong-elliptic, obliquely bilobed at the apex, very leathery. Inflorescences axillary short-pedunculate arching racemes, the floral bracts conspicuous, persistent. Flowers two-ranked, fragrant, starry, white becoming yellow with age. Sepals and petals subsimilar, subequal, lanceolate-ovate, acuminate, recurved. Lip unlobed, sessile, resembling the sepals and petals, with a long slender tapered spur. Column short, without wings or foot, with and elongate rostellum and long-beaked anther; pollinia 2, on separate stipes attached to a common viscidium, the viscidium often bipartite.


From the Greek kyrtos, meaning curved, and orchis, meaning orchid, referring to the strongly incurved spur.


A genus of 16 species in tropical Africa. Summerhayes divided the genus into two sections: section Cyrtorchis [Cyrtorchis section Heterocollection Summerhayes] for those species with a bipartite viscidium and section Homocollection Summerhayes for those s

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Bock, I. 1999. Cyrtorchis chailluana (Hook.f.) Schltr. 1914. Die Orchidee 50(3): Orchideenkartei Seite 899-900.

Harrison, E. R. 1972. A new variety of Cyrtorchis praetermissa from Zululand. J. S. African Bot. 38(4):299-300.

Leroux, A. 1996. Cyrtorchis chailluana (Hook.f.) Schltr. L’Orchidoph. 120:37-38.

Linder, H. P. 1989. Notes on southern African Angraecoid orchids. Kew Bull. 44:317-319.

Onderstall, J. 1983. Cyrtorchis arcuata from Kenya. S. Afr. Orchid J. 14(2):39.