Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Advanced Search

Siphonochilus J.M. Wood & Franks
Natal Pl. 6 (3): t. 560, 561 (1911) and in Kew Bull. 1911: 274 (1911); Burtt, Notes R. Bot. Gard. Edinb. 40: 369-373 (1982); Lock, Fl. Trop. East Afr., Zingiberac.: 14-22 (1985), reg. rev.

Description:
     Herbs from short vertical rhizome; roots often tuberous. Leaves on very short pseudostems. Inflorescence a terminal, 1-many-flowered raceme on a separate leafless shoot, often appearing before the leaves, and often subterranean with only the tips of the flowers visible; bracts each subtending a single flower; bracteole absent; flowers white, yellow, blue or purple; calyx tubular or turbinate, 3-lobed; corolla tube elongated; lateral staminodes petaloid, connate to labellum, their united basal part enfolding the filament; labellum conspicuous, about as long as the staminodes, 2- (3-)lobed; filament short, thecae basal, crest elongated, petaloid; ovary 3-locular. Capsule fleshy, subglobose, trigonous, dehiscence unknown; seeds arillate. 2n = 26, 28, 42. (From Kubitzki, et al., p. 486)

Geographical Distribution:
     Found mostly in the seasonally dry parts of tropical Africa and Madagascar.

Taxonomic Diversity:
     Comprises about 15 species.

Siphonochilus kirkii (Hook. f.) B.L. Burtt
Siphonochilus aethiopicus (Schweinf.) B.L. Burtt

[ TOP ]