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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.



Ronald A. Coleman, Dieter H. Wilken & William F. Jennings, except as noted

Perennial herb, terrestrial [growing on other plants], non-green (nutrition from association of roots with fungi) or green, generally from rhizomes or tubers with few to many fleshy to slender roots; cauline leaves ± reduced to sheathing stem bracts or not. Leaf: 1–many, basal to cauline, linear to ± round, alternate to opposite (if only 1 pair), generally sessile. Inflorescence: flowers 1–many, spike or raceme, bracted. Flower: bisexual, bilateral, in bud generally rotating 180° by twisting ovary (position of parts indicated after twisting); sepals generally 3, generally free, generally petal-like, uppermost generally erect, lateral with chin- or spur-like projection (mentum) or not; petals 3, 1 (lip) different, spurred or not; stamens generally 1 (3 in Cypripedium, 2 functional, 1 a staminode), fused with style, stigma into column, pollen generally lumped, generally removed as unit by insect; ovary inferior, 1-chambered, placentas 3, parietal, stigma 3 lobed, generally under column tip. Fruit: capsule. Seed: many, minute.
± 800 genera, ± 25000 species: especially tropics (worldwide except Antarctica). Many cultivated for ornamental, especially Cattleya, Cymbidium, Epidendrum, Oncidium, Paphiopedilum; Vanilla planifolia Andrews fruits used to flavor food. [Romero-Gonzalez et al. 2002 FNANM 26:490–651] Platanthera may be paraphyletic without inclusion of Piperia (Bateman et al. 2009 Ann Bot 104:431–445); study needed. —Scientific Editors: Ronald A. Coleman, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Luer 1975 Orchids US and Can, NY Bot Garden; Coleman 1995 Wild Orchids of California. Cornell Univ.]

Key to Orchidaceae

1. Functional stamens 2, staminodes 1 ..... CYPRIPEDIUM

1' Functional stamens 1, staminodes 0

2. Leaves 0 at flower

3. Flower spurred, without mentum ..... PIPERIA (2)

3' Flower not spurred, with mentum or not

4. Flowers in spiral, lip pouch-like ..... SPIRANTHES (2)

4' Flowers not in spiral, lip not pouch-like

5. Plant white, becoming ± yellow or brown ..... CEPHALANTHERA

5' Plant brown, tan, ± pink, ± red, ± purple (± green) ..... CORALLORHIZA

2' Leaves present at flower

6. Leaves cauline

7. Leaves 2, ± opposite, ± at mid stem ..... LISTERA

7' Leaves > 2, alternate, along stem

8. Leaves with > 1 lengthwise fold, green, white, or pink; flower not spurred ..... EPIPACTIS

8' Leaves with 1 lengthwise fold, green; flower spurred ..... PLATANTHERA

6' Leaves ± basal

9. Leaves 1(2)

10. Flowers 1, lip pouch-like ..... CALYPSO

10' Flowers > 1, lip not pouch-like ..... MALAXIS

9' Leaves > 1

11. Leaves in rosette ..... GOODYERA

11' Leaves not in rosette

12. Flowers not in spiral, spurred ..... PIPERIA (2)

12' Flowers in spiral, not spurred ..... SPIRANTHES (2)


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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