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Epipogium R. Br.


Description from Flora of China

Ceratopsis Lindley; Galera Blume; Podanthera Wight.

Herbs, terrestrial, holomycotrophic. Rhizome tuberous or coralloid, fleshy. Stem erect, fleshy, with short, scalelike sheathing bracts at nodes, white or pale yellowish white, leafless, glabrous. Inflorescence terminal, racemose, several to many flowered, ephemeral; floral bracts ovate-lanceolate, membranous. Flowers usually pendulous, resupinate or not, yellowish white with violet or reddish brown markings; pedicel slender, often elongate; ovary dilated. Sepals and petals similar, connivent or spreading, free, lanceolate; lip broadly ovate when flattened, fleshy, concave, spurred at base, entire or 3-lobed; disk papillate and with longitudinal ridges or lamellae; spur broad, shortly saccate to elongate, straight or slightly curved, apex obtuse. Column short, fleshy, lacking a column foot; anther incumbent or suberect; pollinia 2, each deeply cleft, clavate, loosely granular-farinaceous, each with a slender caudicle and attached to a viscidium; stigma placed at base of column; rostellum broad, sometimes reduced and obscure, usually distant from stigma. Capsule ellipsoid or ovoid, usually maturing rapidly.

The genus name is based on the pre-Linnaean name "Epipogum" (J. G. Gmelin, Fl. Sibir. 1: 11. 1747).

Three species: tropical Africa, temperate and tropical Asia, NE Australia, Europe, SW Pacific islands; three species in China.

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


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