Spermatophyta: Monocotyledonae: Asparagales

Orchidaceae - Orchid family

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

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: 0 cultivated genera and 0 cultivated taxa.

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

GenusContent

Other sources of information about Orchidaceae:

Our websites:

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

External websites:

GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Orchidaceae
Google: Web - Images - Scholar


Copyright: Mike Bingham, Annette Willemen, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Mark Hyde, 2011-17

Bingham, M.G., Willemen, A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. and Hyde, M.A. (2017). Flora of Zambia: Cultivated plants: Family page: Orchidaceae.
http://www.zambiaflora.com/cult/family.php?family_id=161, retrieved 24 May 2017

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