Spermatophyta: Monocotyledonae: Asparagales

Orchidaceae - Orchid family

Ball, J.S. (1978) Southern African Epiphytic Orchids. Conservation Press, Johannesburg.

Ball, J.S. (2009) Terrestrial African Orchids, A Selected Review.

Fibeck, W. & Dare, M. (1993) Terrestrial Orchids in Zimbabwe. Excelsa 16 47-71

La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1995) Orchidaceae (Part 1) Flora Zambesiaca 11(1)

La Croix, I. & Cribb, P.J. (1998) Orchidaceae (Part 2) Flora Zambesiaca 11(2)

La Croix, I. et al. (1991) Orchids of Malawi A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam

McMurtry, D., Grobler, L., Grobler, J. & Burns, S. (2008) Field Guide to the ORCHIDS of Northern South Africa and Swaziland Umdaus Press, PO Box 11059 Hatfield 0028 South Africa

Schelpe, E.A.C.L.E. (1976) A Provisional Checklist of the Orchidaceae of Mozambique South African Journal of Botany 42(4)

Description of the family

Perennial, terrestrial or epiphytic herbs with rhizomes, tubers or corms. Stems sometimes swollen at the base (pseudobulbs). Leaves alternate or rarely opposite (e.g. some spp. of Disperis), entire. Inflorescence a spike, raceme or panicle. Flowers bracteate, bisexual, zygomorphic, usually twisted through 180° (resupinate), occasionally not twisted or twisted through 360°. Perianth epigynous; perianth segments 6, usually free, arranged in 2 whorls; both whorls similar or outer whorl (sepals) calyx-like and inner whorl (petals) corolla-like or very reduced. Central segment of outer whorl (dorsal sepal) often different in shape and size to the lateral; central segment of inner whorl (lip or labellum) often lobed or spurred. Stamen 1, united with the style to form the column. Pollen aggregated into masses (pollinia). Ovary inferior, 1-locular. Stigmas 3, fertile or more usually 2 lateral fertile, the other an outgrowth (rostellum), lying between the anthers and the lateral stigmas. Part of the rostellum is often modified into sticky discs (viscidia) to which the pollinia are attached by 1-2 stalks (stipes). Whole structure of pollinia, stipes and viscidia form the pollinarium. Fruit a capsule, often longitudinally ribbed. Seeds minute, very numerous, without endosperm.

Comment: The subfamilies of the Orchidaceae are defined by the nature of the organs (anthers and pollinia) containing the pollen. Adaptation to pollination by specific insect pollinators is what characterizes the family.

Worldwide: 788 genera and 18,500 species, cosmopolitan.

Zambia: 47 genera and 414 taxa.

Eulophia latilabris

Links to genera:     View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this family

Acampe Lindl.Description, Image
Aerangis Rchb. f.Description
Ancistrorhynchus Description
Angraecopsis Kraenzl.Description
Angraecum BoryDescription
Ansellia Lindl.Description, Image
Bolusiella Schltr.Description
Bonatea Willd.Description
Brachycorythis Lindl.Description
Brownleea Lindl.Description, Image
Bulbophyllum ThouarsDescription
Calanthe R.Br.Description
Calyptrochilum Kraenzl.Description
Centrostigma Schltr.Description
Cribbia SenghasDescription
Cynorkis ThouarsDescription
Cyrtorchis Schltr.Description, Image
Diaphananthe Schltr.Description
Disa P.J. BergiusDescription
Disperis Sw.Description
Eulophia Lindl.Description
Graphorkis ThouarsDescription
Habenaria Willd.Description
Holothrix Lindl.Description, Image
Liparis Rich.Description
Malaxis Sol. ex Sw.Description
Microcoelia Lindl.Description, Image
Mystacidium Lindl.Description, Image
Neobolusia Schltr.Description
Nephrangis Summerh.Description
Nervilia Comm. ex Gaudich.Description
Oeceoclades Lindl.Description
Orthochilus Hochst. ex A. Rich.Image
Phaius Lour.Description
Platycoryne Rchb. f.Description, Image
Platylepis A. RichDescription
Polystachya Hook.Description, Image
Rangaeris Summerh.Description, Image
Roeperocharis Rchb. f.Description, Image
Satyrium Sw.Description, Image
Schizochilus Sond.Description
Stolzia Schltr.Description, Image
Summerhayesia P.J. CribbDescription
Tridactyle Schltr.Description
Vanilla Mill.Description
Ypsilopus Summerh.Description
Zeuxine Lindl.Description

Other sources of information about Orchidaceae:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Orchidaceae
Flora of Caprivi: Orchidaceae
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated Orchidaceae
Flora of Malawi: Orchidaceae
Flora of Mozambique: Orchidaceae
Flora of Zimbabwe: Orchidaceae
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Orchidaceae

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Orchidaceae
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Orchidaceae
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Orchidaceae
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Orchidaceae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Orchidaceae
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Orchidaceae
JSTOR Plant Science: Orchidaceae
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Orchidaceae
Wikipedia: Orchidaceae
Plants of the World Online: Orchidaceae
Tropicos: Orchidaceae

Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-24

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2024). Flora of Zambia: Family page: Orchidaceae.
https://www.zambiaflora.com/speciesdata/family.php?family_id=161, retrieved 20 June 2024

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