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Acanthephippium Bl.


Description from Flora of China

Herbs, terrestrial. Rhizome short, inconspicuous. Pseudobulbs ovoid, ovoid-cylindric, or clavate, fleshy, with a few internodes, usually covered with several membranous scalelike sheaths, with several stout, fleshy roots at base and 1-4 leaves at apex. Leaves ovate, elliptic, or obovate, large, convolute, plicate, base contracted and sheathing, articulate. New shoot arising from base of pseudobulb. Inflorescence borne laterally from a new shoot or from a lower node on pseudobulb, erect, short, unbranched, fleshy; peduncle usually enclosed by several large imbricate sheaths; rachis few flowered; floral bracts large, foliaceous. Flowers resupinate, large, fleshy; pedicel and ovary ellipsoid, sometimes sparsely pubescent, thickening after anthesis. Sepals connate at base and forming gibbous, urceolate tube, free at apex; dorsal sepal oblong to obovate, concave; lateral sepals oblong, oblique and broad at base, adnate to column foot at base and forming an urceolate mentum. Petals enclosed within sepaline tube, elliptic to spatulate, base shortly decurrent along column foot; lip small, articulate at apex of column foot, 3-lobed; lateral lobes erect; mid-lobe reflexed, triangular or oblong, short; disk with a series of lamellae or keels that run longitudinally between lateral lobes. Column elongate, dilated toward apex, sometimes winged, with a column foot at base; column foot very long, inflexed at middle, recurved toward apex; anther subglobose to ovoid, 2-locular; pollinia 8, in 2 groups of 4, subobovoid, unequal in size, waxy, each group attached to a sticky viscidium by a broad caudicle; rostellum broadly ovate; stigma broadly obovoid, entire. Capsule erect, ellipsoid, ridged.

Sprague (Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1928: 341. 1928) explained that the spelling in the protologue, "Acanthophippium," was an orthographical error and that Acanthephippium was the correct spelling. Garay and Sweet (Orchids S. Ryukyu Islands, 129. 1974) endorsed Sprague’s view.

Eleven species: from S and NE India and Bangladesh, throughout SE Asia, to S Japan, New Guinea, and the SW Pacific islands; three species in China.

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


Related Objects  

Flora of China  
  • Acanthephippium.pdf
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