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Habenaria Willd.


Description from Flora of China

Fimbrorchis Szlachetko; Habenaria sect. Kryptostoma Summerhayes; Habenorkis Thouars; Kryptostoma (Summerhayes) Geerinck; Medusorchis Szlachetko; Ochyrorchis Szlachetko; Senghasiella Szlachetko; Smithanthe Szlachetko & Margońska.

Herbs, terrestrial. Tubers subglobose, ellipsoid, or oblong, fleshy, unlobed, neck with several slender roots. Stem erect, base often with tubular sheaths, above sheaths with leaves and sometimes several bractlike leaves above. Leaves 1 to several, loosely arranged or tufted, base contracted into amplexicaul sheaths. Inflorescence racemose, terminal, few to many flowered. Flowers resupinate. Sepals free; dorsal sepal connivent with petals forming a hood; lateral sepals spreading and reflexed. Petals simple or bilobed; lip often 3-lobed, base often spurred, sometimes saccate or spurless. Column short, both sides often with auricles (staminodes); anther erect, with distinct connective and 2 divergent locules, base of each often protruding and grooved; pollinia 2, granular-farinaceous, sectile, usually each by a long caudicle attached to a viscidium; viscidium naked, relatively small; stigmas 2, separate, convex or elongate, ± clavate, at base of column; rostellum usually stout and large, with arms parallel to basal grooves of anther, ± embracing caudicles.

The recent fragmentation of Habenaria by Szlachetko and his co-workers (Szlachetko & Olszewski, Fl. Cameroun 34: 231. 1998; Olszewski & Szlachetko, Ann. Bot. Fenn. 37: 299. 2000; Szlachetko, Orchidee (Hamburg) 55: 489. 2004; Szlachetko, Richardiana 4: 55. 2004; Szlachetko & Margońska, Orchidee (Hamburg) 55: 174. 2004) has not been widely taken up. Although Szlachetko et al. retain many species in Habenaria, they also recognize the genera Fimbrorchis, Kryptostoma, Medusorchis, Ochyrorchis, Senghasiella, and Smithanthe as represented in China and have placed some Chinese Habenaria species in these genera. Habenaria is almost certainly polyphyletic and some reorganization of it is undoubtedly necessary. We await the results of molecular studies that are currently underway before adopting a different generic classification from that proposed here.

About 600 species: worldwide, mainly in tropical and subtropical areas; 54 species (19 endemic) in China.

(Authors: Chen Xinqi (陈心启 Chen Sing-chi); Phillip J. Cribb)

  • List of lower taxa


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    Flora of China  
  • Habenaria.pdf
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