Original Research

An analysis of the orchid flora of Mt Mulanje, Malawi

H. Kurzweil
Bothalia | Vol 22, No 2 | a848 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v22i2.848 | © 1992 H. Kurzweil | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 October 1992 | Published: 14 October 1992

About the author(s)

H. Kurzweil, Compton Herbarium. National Botanical Institute, South Africa

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The composition of the orchid flora of Mt Mulanje, Malawi, is analysed. The altitudinal distribution of the orchids, the distribution of the terrestrial and epiphytic species and the extralimital distribution of the species is assessed for both genera and subfamilies (after the systematic concept of Dressier 1981). The altitudinal distribution of species endemic to Malawi is also assessed. The terrestrial species show a significant increase with altitude whereas the epiphytic species are more dominant al the lower levels. A similar increase is also found in the species endemic to Malawi. An analysis of the distributions shared with other African countries reveals that most species also occur in Zambia, Zimbabwe and East Africa, whereas significantly fewer species are shared with Angola, southern Africa, Mocambique, Zaire and West Africa. Most species shared with tropical African countries are found on the lower slopes of Mt Mulanje.


altitudmal distribution; extralimital distribution; floristic composition; Mt Mulanje; Malawi; Orchidaceae


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