TAXONOMIC REVISION OF THE GENUS EULOPHIA R. Br. (ORCHIDACEAE) IN GHANA
ID: 613 / 245
Proposed Symposium Title: TAXONOMIC REVISION OF THE GENUS EULOPHIA R. Br. (ORCHIDACEAE) IN GHANA
Benjamin Darko Williams1, Matthew Kweku Essilfie1, Alex Asase2
Affiliations: 1 Department of Plant and Environmental Biology, University of Ghana, Ghana 2 Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine, Ghana
Eulophia R. Br. is one of the prominent ground orchids in West Africa and Central Africa, however, there is no complete taxonomic revision of the genus Eulophia in Ghana although a revision has been carried out in Nigeria, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo. The goal of this study is to determine the range of morphological variations within the genus in order to clarify the delimitation of the taxa in Ghana; evaluate aspects of the ecology and distribution of the genus in Ghana.
Field trips to collection sites as cited by the major herbaria in Ghana yielded no live plants although the visits were done following the cited collection dates. Urbanization and land use change is quickly destroying the habitats of the members of this genus.
Morphological studies carried out on preserved specimens suggested eight species of Eulophia in Ghana, with the most common members found in grasslands. Members of the genus have a cosmopolitan distribution across the country, with the least distribution around the western part. The genus produces flowers and fruits between March to May, with the exception of E. cristata (Afzel. ex Sw.) Steud. producing flowers in January also.