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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 26 | Orchidaceae | Liparis

3. Liparis nervosa (Thunberg ex Murray) Lindley, Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl. 26. 1830.

Tall liparis

Ophrys nervosa Thunberg ex Murray, Syst. Veg. ed. 14, 814. 1784; Leptorchis elata (Lindley) Kuntze; Liparis bituberculata Reichenbach f.; L. elata Lindley; L. elata var. latifolia Ridley; Sturmia bituberculata Reichenbach f.

Plants 12–60 cm. Pseudobulbs conic, slightly compressed, 5–7 × 2–3 cm, sheathed by bracts and persistent leaf bases, previous year’s pseudobulb usually present, connected by short rhizome, producing numerous fibrous roots. Stems pale green or green, sometimes suffused with purple-maroon, angled, prominently winged distally. Leaves 3–7, sheathing stem and pseudobulb, reduced distally to minute bracts; blade green, glossy, plicate, ovate or elliptic to oblong-lanceolate, 6–30 × 5.5–12 cm, membranaceous, apex broadly rounded to abruptly acuminate. Inflorescences 3–26 cm; floral bracts subulate to triangular-lanceolate, 6–12 × 3 mm, apex acuminate; pedicels stout, 3–5 mm. Flowers 10–40, greenish purple; dorsal sepal oblong-elliptic to linear-oblong, 5–8 × 1.8–4 mm, margins strongly revolute, apex broadly rounded to obtuse; lateral sepals falcate, ovate-oblong to elliptic, 4–7 × 2–3.5 mm, apex obtuse to subacute; petals falcate, linear-oblanceolate to narrowly spatulate, nearly tubular, 5–7.5 × 1–2 mm, margins strongly revolute; lip strongly arcuate-recurved, obcordate to broadly cuneate or oblong-flabellate, base obsoletely auriculate, apex emarginate, sometimes mucronate; callus with 2 fleshy tubercles on basal portion, maroon-purple, 4–5.5 ×3.5–5.3 mm; column stout, 3.5–5 × 1–1.5 mm, winged apically; anthers bright green; pollinia yellow. Capsules obovoid to ellipsoid, 12–15 × 5–6 mm.

Flowering Jul--Sep. Cypress swamps on decaying logs and stumps, in rich humus of hammock or in wet muck, also dense hardwood forests; 0--1500 m; Fla.; Mexico; West Indies; Central America; South America; Asia (Formosa, India, Japan, Thailand); tropical Africa; Pacific Islands (Philippines).

Liparis nervosa, a pantropical orchid, is probably the most widespread orchid in the world. Liparis nervosa has over fifty different published synonyms from tropical areas.


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