Nephrangis (Schltr.) Summerh.
  • (Schltr.) Summerh., Kew Bull. 3: 301 (1948)

This is a synonym of Angraecinae Summerh.

General Description

Epiphytic, monopodial herb. Stems elongated, simple or branching, leafy. Leaves distichous, aciculiform, terete. Inflorescences abbreviated, solitary, paired or fasciculate, 1–3(–4)-flowered, emerging from the base of the leaf-sheaths, much shorter than leaves; bracts minute. Flowers small, translucent, pale brown to brownish green. Sepals and petals spreading to reflexed. Sepals ovate to almost orbicular, obtuse, laterals connate at base. Petals narrowly elliptic to linear, acute. Lip spurred, abruptly dilated from a narrow, clawed base into a broad, bilobed lamina; lobes reniform; spur narrowly conical, obtuse. Column short, without a foot or stelidia; rostellum elongated, porrect, apex shortly recurved; anther ovate, cucullate, broadly rostrate, obtuse; pollinia 2, ellipsoid, each bearing a short, spathulate-liguliform stipes; viscidium solitary, triangular, rounded, truncate.

Epiphytic monopodial herbs.Stem long, leafy, simple or branching.Leaves distichous, needle-shaped.Inflorescences arising along the stem opposite the leaves, 1–6-flowered, shorter than the leaves.Flowers small, translucent, brownish or green-brown.Sepals and petals spreading or reflexed; lip spurred.Column short; rostellum elongate, porrect, shortly recurved at the apex; anther ovate, cucullate, broadly rostrate, obtuse; pollinia 2, ellipsoid, each with a short spathulate-liguliform stipes; viscidium 1, triangular, rounded, truncate.

Pendent, epiphytic herbs. Roots mostly toward stem base. Stem simple or branched, leafy, covered by sheathing leaf bases. Leaves distichous, coriaceous, terete, linear, aculiform, acute. Inflorescence lateral, shorter than leaves, racemose, few-flowered. Flowers semitranslucent, sepals and petals ochre-brown to brown-green, labellum white. Sepals and petals spreading, free, subsimilar. Labellum deflexed, shortly clawed then abruptly dilated into a tranversely reniform lamina, ecallose; spur cylindrical. Column lacking a foot; anther broadly obovoid, pollinia two, cleft, each attached by a linear or Y-shaped tegula to a single oblong to cordate viscidium; stigma obovate or triangular; rostellum bifid, curving forward at tip. Ovary with pedicel shorter than spur, pustular.


Pollen of these two species has not been studied.


Nephrangis filiformis (Kranzl.) Summerh. is a canopy epiphyte on Piptadeniastrum africanum (Hook.f.) Brenan (Fabaceae) in moist semi-deciduous forests and on Cryptosepalum pseudotaxus Baker f. (Fabaceae) in woodlands on sand in riverine forest and on Uapaca Baill. (Euphorbiaceae) trees in savanna woodlands. Nephrangis bertauxinana Szlach. & Olszewski is found in woodlands on the edges of savannas. Both range from 500 to 2200 m in elevation.


Nephrangis is a genus of two species in tropical Africa from Liberia eastward to Uganda and Tanzania and south to Zambia.


There are no known uses for these species.


in Kew Bull. 2: 301 (1948).

in Kew Bull. 2: 301 (1948).

in K.B. 2: 301 (1948)

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Africa East Tropical Africa Kenya
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • South Tropical Africa Zambia
  • West Tropical Africa Ivory Coast
  • Liberia
  • West-Central Tropical Africa Burundi
  • Gabon
  • Rwanda
  • Zaire


  • 1 Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-71827. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • 2 P. J. Cribb (1989) Orchidaceae. Flora of Tropical East Africa 0 (0)
  • 3 V.s. Summerhayes (1968) Orchidaceae. Flora of West Tropical Africa 3 (1)
  • 4 Original publication of Nephrangis. 3, (1948).
  • 5 Pridgeon, A.M., Cribb, P.J., Chase, M.W. & Rasmussen, F.N. Genera Orchidacearum: Volume 6. Epidendroideae (Part Three). (Oxford University Press: 2014).

 Information From

Flora Zambesiaca
Flora Zambesiaca. Published on the Internet;
Flora of Tropical East Africa
Flora of Tropical East Africa. Published on the Internet;
Flora of West Tropical Africa
Flora of West Tropical Africa. Published on the Internet;
WCS higher taxonomy
  • D All Rights Reserved
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; Retrieved 2011 onwards
  • E See You may use data on these Terms and Conditions and on further condition that: The data is not used for commercial purposes; You may copy and retain data solely for scholarly, educational or research purposes; You may not publish our data, except for small extracts provided for illustrative purposes and duly acknowledged; You acknowledge the source of the data by the words "With the permission of the Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew" in a position which is reasonably prominent in view of your use of the data; Any other use of data or any other content from this website may only be made with our prior written agreement.