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Aphyllorchis Blume, Tab. Pl. Jav. Orchid.: t. 77 (1825).

By: Bhakta Bahadur Raskoti

Taxon Description

Terrestrial holomycotrophic herbs. Rhizome short with fascicled roots. Stem erect, with sheaths at basal portion and scale-like bracts towards apical end. Inflorescence terminal, racemose, laxly flowered; floral bracts often reflexed. Flowers resupinate, often not fully opened, with long pedicel and ovary. Sepals similar, free, concave. Petals similar to sepals, smaller in size. Lip adnate to base of column; hypochile dilated; epichile deflexed, often entire or sometimes lobed. Column arcuate, slender; anther 2-locular; filament short; staminodes 2; pollinia 2, granular-farinaceous, caudicles absent; rostellum reduced; stigma near apex of column, concave. Fruit a pendulous capsule.

Taxon Statistics

Worldwide 20 species, distributed in East Asia, South Asia, South East Asia and Australasia. One species in Nepal.

Aphyllorchis alpina King & Pantl., Ann. Roy. Bot. Gard. (Calcutta) 8: 261 (1898).

Plants 60–75 cm tall. Rhizome not seen. Stem erect, with 3 tubular sheaths. Inflorescence cylindric, stout; rachis 18 cm, 10–15-flowered. Peduncle bracts ovate-lanceolate, 2–3.5 X 1.5 cm, apex obtuse. Floral bracts linear-lanceolate, 20–30 X 6 mm, deflexed, longer than pedicel and ovary. Flowers yellowish green with tinged purple, 6–8 mm across, only half opened. Pedicel and ovary 2–2.5 cm. Dorsal sepal ovate-lanceolate, 22–26 X 6–7 mm apex acuminate. Lateral sepals similar to dorsal sepal. Petals lanceolate, 15–17 X 5–6 mm, apex acute. Lip 10–12 X 5–6 mm; hypochile triangular, ca. 8 mm; epichile ovate, 2–2.5 mm, apex acute. Column arcuate, 10–11 mm. Fruit not seen. 

Distribution: Nepal, E Himalaya, W Himalaya and Tibetan Plateau.

Altitudinal range: 2000–2600 m.

Ecology: Terrestrial on litter covered slopes in Tsuga dumosa forests.

Flowering: July–August. Fruiting: September–October.