Spermatophyta: Monocotyledonae

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 and Cribb, P.J. (1995) Orchidaceae (Part 1) FZ 11(1)

La Croix, I and Cribb, P.J. (1998) Orchidaceae (Part 2) FZ 11(2)

La Croix, I.F. 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.

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

Zimbabwe: 55 genera and 357 taxa.

Cynorkis kassneriana

More sample images from the Orchidaceae (Click on each image to see a larger version and details of the record)

Corymborkis corymbis

Corymborkis corymbis

Disa fragrans subsp. fragrans

Disa fragrans subsp. fragrans

Polystachya subumbellata

Polystachya subumbellata

Tridactyle tridentata

Tridactyle tridentata

Polystachya cultriformis (yellow-flowered form)

Polystachya cultriformis (yellow-flowered form)

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

GenusContent
Acampe Lindl.Description, Image
Aerangis Rchb. f.Description, Image
Aeranthes Lindl.Description
Angraecopsis Kraenzl.Description, Image
Angraecum BoryDescription, Image
Ansellia Lindl.Description, Image
Benthamia A. Rich.
Bolusiella Schltr.Description, Image
Bonatea Willd.Description, Image
Brachycorythis Lindl.Description, Image
Brownleea Lindl.Description, Image
Bulbophyllum ThouarsDescription, Image
Calanthe R.Br.Description, Image
Calyptrochilum Kraenzl.Description, Image
Centrostigma Schltr.Description
Chaseella Summerh.Description, Image
Cheirostylis BlumeDescription
Cirrhopetalum Lindl.Image
Corymborkis ThouarsDescription
Cynorkis ThouarsDescription, Image
Cyrtorchis Schltr.Description, Image
Dendrobianthe (Schltr.) MytnikImage
Diaphananthe Schltr.Description, Image
Didymoplexis Griff.Description
Disa P.J. BergiusDescription, Image
Disperis Sw.Description, Image
Eulophia Lindl.Description, Image
Habenaria Willd.Description, Image
Holothrix Lindl.Description
Isochilostachya Mytnik & Szlach.Image
Jumellea Schltr.Description, Image
Liparis Rich.Description, Image
Malaxis Sol. ex Sw.Description
Microcoelia Lindl.Description, Image
Mystacidium Lindl.Description, Image
Neobolusia Schltr.Description
Nervilia Comm. ex Gaudich.Description, Image
Oberonia Lindl.Description, Image
Oeceoclades Lindl.
Phaius Lour.
Platycoryne Rchb. f.Description, Image
Platylepis A. RichDescription
Polystachya Hook.Description, Image
Rangaeris Summerh.Description, Image
Satyrium Sw.Description, Image
Schizochilus Sond.Description, Image
Solenangis Schltr.Description, Image
Stenoglottis Lindl.Description, Image
Stolzia Schltr.Description, Image
Summerhayesia P.J. Cribb
Taeniophyllum Blume
Tridactyle Schltr.Description, Image
Vanilla Mill.Description, Image
Ypsilopus Summerh.Description, Image
Zeuxine Lindl.Description

Other sources of information about Orchidaceae:

Our websites:

Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Orchidaceae
Flora of Mozambique: Orchidaceae
Flora of Zambia: Orchidaceae | cultivated Orchidaceae

External websites:

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


Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-14

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2014). Flora of Zimbabwe: Family page: Orchidaceae.
http://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/family.php?family_id=161, retrieved 23 October 2014

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