The resupinate, twisted flowers of Cyrtorchis arcuata grow in up to six hanging inflorescences that become up to 10 cm long, each bearing up to 15 flowers.
Flowers are about star-shaped, all six the fleshy segments similarly shaped, even the lip. The sepals are only slightly larger, the median one biggest. Petals, sepals and lip all curve back markedly and taper to their tips; the specific name arcuata meaning bent or curved (Latin).
The cream flowers age into an apricot to nearly orange colour after pollination. The flowers are large, about 5 cm in diameter. The pendulous and curving spurs, growing from the flower lips, become about 5 cm long and widen at the mouth. The spurs are pale brown to olive green in colour and shiny translucent. The floral bracts turn black or brown. The stout column is about 2 mm long, the rostellum 4 mm.
The flowers exude a sweet fragrance at night; the pollinators may be hawkmoths. A couple of closed, slender green buds on long pedicels are visible among the flowers in the photo. Flowering happens from late spring to midsummer (Liltved and Johnson, 2012; Pooley, 1998; www.zimbabweflora.co.zw).
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