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Epipactis gigantea

Higher Taxonomy
Family: OrchidaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb, terrestrial [growing on other pls], 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.
Genera In Family: +- 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. Note: Platanthera may be paraphyletic without inclusion of Piperia (Bateman et al. 2009 Ann Bot 104:431--445); study needed.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald A. Coleman, Dieter H. Wilken & William F. Jennings, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Ronald A. Coleman, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: EpipactisView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Leaf: cauline, alternate, gradually reduced upward, lanceolate to wide-ovate, with > 1 lengthwise fold, green, white, or pink. Inflorescence: +- 1-sided, open; flowers 4+; flower bract +- leaf-like. Flower: sepals +- alike, lanceolate to ovate, lower spreading to downcurved; lateral petals ascending or curved forward, +- = sepals in shape, color, lip not spurred, abruptly narrowed at +- middle, of 2 very different parts, proximally concave to +- pouch-like, distally grooved to +- not; column curved over lip. Fruit: spreading to pendent.
Species In Genus: +- 25 species: North America, Eurasia, northern Africa. Etymology: (Greek: ancient name)

Epipactis gigantea Hook.
Habit: Plant 30--70(100) cm. Leaf: 5--15 cm, lanceolate to wide-elliptic, green. Inflorescence: flowers few--20+; flower bract lanceolate to oblong. Flower: sepals +- green to +- red, +- purple-veined; lateral petals 13--15 mm, lip proximally +- green to +- yellow, veined red-purple, distally yellow, red-tinged or -veined; column 5--9 mm. Fruit: 20--28 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=40.
Ecology: Seeps, wet meadows, streambanks; Elevation: < 2600 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA-FP (exc GV, s ChI), GB, D; Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia, South Dakota, Texas, Mexico. Flowering Time: Mar--Oct
Synonyms: Epipactis gigantea Douglas f. rubrifolia P.M. Br.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald A. Coleman, Dieter H. Wilken & William F. Jennings
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botanical illustration including Epipactis gigantea


Citation for this treatment: Ronald A. Coleman, Dieter H. Wilken & William F. Jennings 2016. Epipactis gigantea, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 01, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 01, 2016.

Epipactis gigantea
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© 2010 James M. Andre
Epipactis gigantea
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© 2009 Thomas Stoughton
Epipactis gigantea
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© 2009 Steve Matson
Epipactis gigantea
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© 2010 Barry Breckling
Epipactis gigantea
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Epipactis gigantea
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© 2009 Aaron Schusteff

More photos of Epipactis gigantea in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Epipactis gigantea:
CA-FP (exc GV, s ChI), GB, D;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.