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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

ORCHIDACEAE

ORCHID FAMILY

Dieter H. Wilken and William F. Jennings

Perennial, terrestrial in CA, some nongreen, generally from rhizomes
Leaves linear to ± round or scale-like, generally sessile
Inflorescence: generally raceme or spike, bracted
Flower bisexual, bilateral, sometimes spurred; sepals generally 3, generally petal-like, generally free, uppermost generally erect; petals 3, lowest different ("lip"); stamen generally 1, fused with style and stigma into column, pollen generally sticky, generally removed as sessile anther sacs; ovary inferior, generally twisted 180° (so lip appears to be lowest perianth segment), 1-chambered, placentas 3, parietal; stigmas 3, generally under column tip
Fruit: capsule
Seeds very many, minute
Genera in family: ± 800 genera, ± 18,000 species: especially tropical (worldwide except deserts). Many cultivated for ornamental, especially Cattelya, Cymbidium, Epidendrum, Oncidium, Paphiopedalum; Vanilla planifolia fruits used as source of food flavoring
Reference: [Luer 1975 Orchids US and Can, NY Bot Garden; Coleman 1995 Wild Orchids of California, Cornell Univ.]
Nongreen plants derive nutrition through fungal intermediates.

EPIPACTIS


Leaves gradually reduced upward, lanceolate to widely ovate, often ± ribbed
Inflorescence ± 1-sided, open; flowers 4+; flower bract ± leaf-like
Flower: sepals ± alike, lanceolate to ovate, lower spreading to descending; lateral petals ascending or curved forward, shape and color ± like sepals; lip abruptly narrowed at ± middle, concave to pouch-like below middle, ± flat or grooved above middle; column curved over lip, convex above
Fruit spreading to pendent
Species in genus: ± 25 species: North America, Eurasia, n Africa
Etymology: (Greek: ancient name)

Native

E. gigantea Hook.

STREAM ORCHID

Plant 30–70(100) cm
Leaves 5–15 cm, lanceolate to widely elliptic
Inflorescence: flower bract lanceolate to oblong
Flower: sepals 12–20 mm, green, purple-veined; lateral petals 13–15 mm; lip 14–20 mm, lower half deeply concave, greenish to yellowish, veined red-purple, upper half grooved, yellow, reddish tinged or veined below; column 5–9 mm
Fruit 20–28 mm
Chromosomes: n=20
Ecology: Seeps, wet meadows, streambanks
Elevation: < 2600 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province (except Great Central Valley, s Channel Islands), East of Sierra Nevada, Desert
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, South Dakota, Texas, Mexico
Flowering time: Mar–Oct
Horticultural information: IRR or WET, DRN: 4, 5, 6, 15, 16, 17, 24 &SHD: 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23; CVS.

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