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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 25 | Orchidaceae

3. Cypripedium Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 2: 951. 1753.

杓兰属 shao lan shu

Authors: Xinqi Chen & Phillip J. Cribb

Cypripedium flavum

Credit: Harvard University Herbaria

Arietinum L. C. Beck; Calceolus Miller; Criosanthes Rafinesque; Fissipes Small; Hypodema Reichenbach; Sacodon Rafinesque.

Herbs, with short or long rhizomes and many thickened fibrous roots. Stem erect, elongate or short, clustered or well spaced, often with several sheaths at base. Leaves 1 to several, alternate to opposite, sometimes prostrate on substrate, sheathing and amplexicaul at base; blade adaxially green or sometimes marked with black-purple spots, often elliptic to ovate, rarely cordate or flabellate, with parallel, radiating, or 3-5 prominent veins. Inflorescence terminal, with a solitary flower or rarely many flowers; floral bracts often leaflike, usually smaller than leaves, rarely absent; ovary 1-locular. Flowers usually large and showy. Dorsal sepal erect or hooded over lip; lateral sepals usually united to form a synsepal, but free in Cypripedium plectrochilum. Petals spreading horizontally, at an angle below horizontal, or enfolding sides of lip, sometimes spirally twisted; lip deeply pouched and inflated, subglobose or ellipsoid, with incurved lateral lobes and usually also apical margin, hairy within on bottom. Column short, with 2 lateral fertile stamens, a terminal staminode above, and a stigma below; anthers 2-locular, with very short filaments; pollen powdery or glutinous; staminodes often elliptic to ovate, very rarely ligulate or linear, base stalked or not; stigma ± papillose, inconspicuously 3-lobed. Fruit a capsule.

About 50 species: N temperate zone, mainly in temperate Asia and North America, extending south to the Himalayan regions and Central America; 36 species (25 endemic) in China.

1 Leaves 3 or more, glabrous or hairy   (2)
+ Leaves 1 or 2, in former case, bract subtending flower leaflike   (20)
2 (1) Staminodes subligulate to linear-oblong, conspicuously narrower than stigma   (3)
+ Staminodes usually elliptic to ovate, ca. as wide as or wider than stigma   (4)
3 (2) Plants more than 100 cm tall, with 9 or 10 leaves; inflorescence with many flowers; flowers yellow with purple spots on lip.   1 C. subtropicum
+ Plants 10-20 cm tall, with 2 or 3 leaves; inflorescence reduced to 1 or 2 flowers; flowers white with purple spots on lip.   2 C. wardii
4 (2) Flowers with 2 lateral sepals completely separate; lip obconic, pointed at apex, pubescent around mouth.   19 C. plectrochilum
+ Flowers with 2 lateral sepals connate to different degrees into 1 synsepal; lip never obconic, glabrous around mouth   (5)
5 (4) Petals shorter than dorsal sepal, suboblong, apex obtuse; flowers yellow, sometimes with red spots.   3 C. flavum
+ Petals usually longer than dorsal sepal, attenuate toward apex, apex acute or acuminate; flowers variously colored   (6)
6 (5) Ovary pubescent or glabrous, never glandular hairy; flowers pink, red, purple, or dark purple, rarely white   (7)
+ Ovary glandular pubescent; flowers yellow, green, or white, sometimes with maroon sepals and petals or purple-veined sepals and petals   (13)
7 (6) Ovary densely hairy or villous   (8)
+ Ovary glabrous, sparsely hairy or hairy only along ribs   (9)
8 (7) Stem densely villous, especially in upper part; dorsal sepal 4-5.5 cm; lip with a smooth rim.   17 C. franchetii
+ Stem sparsely pubescent; dorsal sepal 2.4-2.7 cm; lip with a toothed rim.   18 C. himalaicum
9 (7) Lip 2.2-3.2 cm; petals 2.2-3.2 cm   (10)
+ Lip 3.5-6 cm; petals 3.5-6.5 cm   (11)
10 (9) Ovary glabrous or slightly pubescent in upper half; synsepal much narrower than dorsal sepal; flowers usually pink to purplish red.   12 C. yunnanense
+ Ovary pubescent at least along ribs; synsepal slightly narrower than dorsal sepal; flowers purple-red.   13 C. taibaiense
11 (9) Flowers red, pink, or occasionally white, not becoming dark purple when dried; petals with inconspicuous veins; staminodes not carinate abaxially.   11 C. macranthos
+ Flowers dark purple to deep red, becoming dark purple when dried; petals with very conspicuous veins; staminodes carinate abaxially   (12)
12 (11) Lip with a white-margined rim to its mouth, lacking translucent "windows" on back.   15 C. tibeticum
+ Lip without a white-margined rim to its mouth, with translucent "windows" on back.   16 C. calcicola
13 (6) Staminodes not stalked at base; petals usually nearly as long as lip, mostly not twisted; flower usually solitary   (14)
+ Staminodes stalked at base; petals longer than lip, often twisted; flowers 1-3   (16)
14 (13) Flowers greenish yellow; sepals and petals without maroon stripes or spots, glabrous abaxially; mouth of lip not grooved-toothed along margin.   14 C. ludlowii
+ Flowers greenish yellow to yellow, marked with maroon stripes or spots on sepals and petals; mouth of lip slightly edged by teeth or grooved-toothed along margin   (15)
15 (14) Lip 5-7 cm; staminode 1.5-2 cm.   9 C. fasciolatum
+ Lip 1.6-4 cm; staminode 6-10 mm.   10 C. farreri
16 (13) Lip pure white; sepals green.   8 C. cordigerum
+ Lip not pure white; sepals maroon, yellow, or green, sometimes veined with purple   (17)
17 (16) Sepals and petals maroon, quite different in color from yellow lip.   4 C. calceolus
+ Sepals and petals similar in color to lip   (18)
18 (17) Flowers bronze-brown to purplish brown.   7 C. shanxiense
+ Flowers green or yellow   (19)
19 (18) Flowers often 2 or 3, greenish to green; petals nearly 2 × as long as lip.   5 C. henryi
+ Flowers often solitary, yellowish to yellow; petals not 2 × as long as lip; lip sometimes red spotted.   6 C. segawae
20 (1) Leaves 2, subopposite, quite distinct in size from bract subtending flower; leaves never spotted with blackish purple; pedicel not elongating after fertilization of flower   (21)
+ Leaf solitary, often prostrate on ground; bract leaflike and also often prostrate; both sometimes spotted with blackish purple; pedicel elongating after fertilization of flower   (26)
21 (20) Leaves fan-shaped, with many radiating veins ending at margin of apical half   (22)
+ Leaves cordate to elliptic, with subparallel, arcuate, or 3-5 prominent veins ending at their apex   (23)
22 (21) Stem below leaves brown tomentose; sepals and petals greenish yellow; lip strongly grooved-margined around mouth.   20 C. japonicum
+ Stem below leaves glabrous or puberulent; sepals and petals whitish or pinkish; lip slightly grooved-margined around mouth.   21 C. formosanum
23 (21) Leaves alternate; rhizome slender, elongate; petals usually subspatulate or pandurate, rounded at apex; lip pitcher-shaped, without an incurved apical margin.   22 C. guttatum
+ Leaves ± opposite; stems clustered; lip with incurved margin   (24)
24 (23) Peduncle (above leaves) and ovary glabrous.   23 C. debile
+ Peduncle (above leaves) and ovary hairy   (25)
25 (24) Flowers plum-purple; stem below leaves glabrous; leaves not ciliate; dorsal sepal lanceolate, 3-4 mm wide.   24 C. palangshanense
+ Flowers green, sometimes marked with purple; stem below leaves densely villous; leaves ciliate; dorsal sepal elliptic-ovate, 6-10 mm wide.   25 C. elegans
26 (20) Leaf blade 2.5-6 cm wide; plants with slender rhizomes underground   (27)
+ Leaf blade 6.5-16 cm wide; plants with stout and short rhizomes underground   (29)
27 (26) Leaves with dark purple or black spots adaxially.   28 C. forrestii
+ Leaves without dark purple or black spots   (28)
28 (27) Sepals glabrous.   26 C. bardolphianum
+ Sepals densely villous abaxially.   27 C. micranthum
29 (26) Stem to 10 cm; leaf and bract not prostrate on substrate; staminode wider than long.   36 C. wumengense
+ Stem 2.5-7 cm; leaf and bract prostrate on substrate; staminode longer than wide   (30)
30 (29) Petals glabrous abaxially.   30 C. sichuanense
+ Petals ± hairy abaxially   (31)
31 (30) Petals nearly 2 × as long as lip.   33 C. lentiginosum
+ Petals shorter, ca. as long as or longer than, but not 2 × as long as, lip   (32)
32 (31) Petals densely white villous on upper side of abaxial surface, densely marked with small maroon spots.   35 C. fargesii
+ Petals ± pubescent or purple hairy on upper side of abaxial surface, marked with maroon spots or stripes   (33)
33 (32) Dorsal sepal yellowish, distinctly marked with longitudinal maroon stripes, shortly hairy on abaxial veins.   29 C. margaritaceum
+ Dorsal sepal liver-colored or greenish, without longitudinal maroon stripes, glabrous abaxially   (34)
34 (33) Dorsal sepal yellowish green; petals 2.4-2.8 cm wide, ca. as long as or slightly longer than lip.   31 C. daweishanense
+ Dorsal sepal liver-colored; petals 1.4-2.1 cm wide, obviously longer than lip   (35)
35 (34) Leaf blade not similar in color to petals and lip; dorsal sepal 3.8-6 cm wide.   32 C. lichiangense
+ Leaf blade often similar in color to petals and lip; dorsal sepal 2.5-2.8 cm wide.   34 C. malipoense

  • List of lower taxa


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