Eulophia tenella Rchb.f. 1847

Inflorescence In Situ Zimbabwe Photos by Bart Wursten , and his Flora Of Zimbabwe WebSite

Partial Sun Cool LATE SpringEARLYSummer

Common Name The Delicate Eulophia

Flower Size 1/2" [1.25 cm]

Found in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Natal and Transvaal South Africa in submontane grasslands at elevations of 1500 to 1800 meters as a small sized, cool growing terrestrial with subterranean, chain forming tubers giving rise to narrowly linear, grass-like leaves usually present at time of flowering in the late spring and early summer on a erect, peduncle with 3 bracts, 6 to 24" [15 to 60 cm] long fairly densely few to 25 flowered inflorescence with lanceolate, acumionate floral bracts.

The Suto tribe of the Transvaal of South Africa use this species to relieve pain in the limbs by burning the tubers and making a powder that is applied to the afflicted area. The tubers of this species are also used to make a broth that is taken by mouth to cure women of barrenness and also to prevent miscarriage as it is used for 4 months after conception.

Synonyms Eulophia collina Schltr. 1899; Eulophia flaccida Schltr. 1895; Eulophia humilis Schltr. 1899; Eulophia mossambicensis Schelpe 1976; Eulophia natalensis Rchb.f. 1865; Graphorkis natalensis (Rchb.f.) Kuntze 1891; Graphorkis tenella (Rchb.f.) Kuntze 1891;

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; AOS Bulletin Vol 28 No 4 1959 as E flaccida; AOS Bulletin Vol 47 No 6 1978 as E flaccida; Wild Orchids of Southern Africa Stewart, Linder, Schelpe & Hall 1982 photo fide; Flora Zambesiaca Vol 11 Orchidaceae Part 2 Pope 1998 ; Orchids of Southern Africa Linder & Kurzweil 1999 photo fide; Field Guide to the Orchids of Northern South Africa and Swaziland McMurty, Grobler, Grobler & Burns 2008 photos fide; Terrestrial African Orchids, A select Review John S. Ball 2009 drawing fide; The Cape Orchids Liltved & Johnson 2012 photos fide