32. Epipactis Zinn, Cat. Pl. Hort. Gott. 85. 1757.
[Ancient Greek name used by Theophrastus for plant used to curdle milk]
Paul Martin Brown & George W. Argus
Herbs perennial, terrestrial, glabrous or puberulent to glabrate. Roots from short rhizome, fibrous. Stems leafy. Leaves several, alternate, sheathing, plicate, grading into floral bracts. Inflorescences terminal racemes; floral bracts leaflike, often exceeding flowers. Flowers few to many, resupinate, pedicellate; perianth free, spreading or loosely connivent, subequal; sepals ovate to ovate-lanceolate, concave; petals often shorter than sepals; lip sessile at base of column, fleshy, divided into 2 parts by central constriction, proximal part (hypochile) deeply concave to saccate, distal part (epichile) triangular to oblanceolate, with pair of calli near base; column curved over lip, broadened distally, short; anther terminal, sessile; pollinia 4, mealy. Fruits capsules, pendent to spreading, obovoid to ellipsoid.
Species ca. 25 (3 in the flora): North America, Mexico, Eurasia, North Africa.