Eulophia speciosa

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Eulophia speciosa
Eulophia speciosa (as Lissochilus speciosus) - Bot. Reg. 7 pl.573 (1821).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Cymbidieae
Subtribe: Cyrtopodiinae
Alliance: Eulophia
Genus: Eulophia
Species: E. speciosa
Binomial name
Eulophia speciosa
(R.Br. ex Lindl.) Bolus

See text.

Eulophia speciosa is a species of terrestrial orchid found from Ethiopia to South Africa and in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. The plants usually grow in grasslands in sandy soils or in clay.[1]


The fleshy, lanceolate leaves arise from underground corms/pseudobulbs.[1] The leafless flowering shoot is about 0.4-0.8 m (up to 1.2m[2]) tall, with up to 30 comparatively large flowers in an unbranched raceme.[1] The flowers measure about 25-45 mm in diameter, and are yellow with red markings on the lip of the side lobes.[1]

Conservation and uses[edit]

This species is common in most parts of its distribution range in southern Africa,[1] however it does make a good garden plant[2] and is vulnerable to collectors. In South Africa, all orchids are protected by law and the plants must not be removed from the wild without a permit; only nursery-grown plants can be cultivated legally.[1] These plants are used in African tradition as an emetic and as a protective charm against storms.[2]



Lissochilus speciosus R.Br. ex Lindl. is the basionym. Other synonyms include:

  • Cymbidium giganteum (L.f.) Sw.
  • Cyrtopera gigantea (L.f.) Lindl.
  • Epidendrum giganteum (L.f.) Poir
  • Eulophia austrooccidentalis Sölch
  • Eulophia brevisepala (Rendle) Summerh.
  • Eulophia caloptera (Rchb.f.) Summerh.
  • Eulophia coutreziana Geerinck
  • Eulophia dispersa N.E.Br.
  • Eulophia granitica (Rchb.f.) Cufod.
  • Eulophia homblei (De Wild.) Butzin
  • Eulophia leucantha (Kraenzl.) Sölch
  • Eulophia sapinii De Wild.
  • Eulophia speciosa var. culveri Schltr.
  • Eulophia volkensii (Rolfe) Butzin
  • Eulophia wakefieldii (Rchb.f. & S.Moore) Summerh.
  • Limodorum giganteum (L.f.) Thunb.
  • Lissochilus brevisepalus Rendle
  • Lissochilus calopterus Rchb.f.
  • Lissochilus dispersus (N.E.Br.) Rolfe
  • Lissochilus graniticus Rchb.f.
  • Lissochilus hereroensis Kraenzl.
  • Lissochilus homblei De Wild.
  • Lissochilus leucanthus Kraenzl.
  • Lissochilus rendlei Rolfe
  • Lissochilus sapinii De Wild.
  • Lissochilus speciosus var. culveri (Schltr.) Rolfe
  • Lissochilus volkensii Rolfe
  • Lissochilus wakefieldii Rchb.f. & S.Moore
  • Satyrium giganteum L.f.


  1. ^ a b c d e f, retrieved 6 November 2010.
  2. ^ a b c Pooley, E. (1998). A Field Guide to Wild Flowers; KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Region. ISBN 0-620-21500-3.

External links[edit]