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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 2012, Epipactis gigantea, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 15, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 15, 2017.

Epipactis gigantea
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© 2010 Barry Breckling
Epipactis gigantea
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© 2009 Thomas Stoughton
Epipactis gigantea
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© 2010 Barry Breckling
Epipactis gigantea
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© 2009 Barry Rice
Epipactis gigantea
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© 2014 Keir Morse
Epipactis gigantea
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© 2014 Keir Morse

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. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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.