Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

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



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.


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)


E. helleborine (L.) Crantz

Plant 40–100 cm
Leaves 6–10 cm, lanceolate to ovate
Inflorescence: flower bract linear to narrowly lanceolate
Flower: sepals 10–13 mm, green, purple-tinged (especially outside); lateral petals 8–11 mm; lip 10–12 mm, lower half pouch-like, white to pinkish outside, brown to purplish inside, upper half ± flat, white to pinkish, with 2 thick bumps near base; column 3–5 mm
Fruit 1–1.5 cm
Chromosomes: 2n=38
Ecology: Generally dry slopes, roadcuts
Elevation: < 1300 m.
Bioregional distribution: s Outer North Coast Ranges, c High Sierra Nevada, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area (expected elsewhere)
Distribution outside California: to e Canada, c&ne US; native to Europe

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