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Genus Cystorchis

Genus Cystorchis

Cystorchis Blume, Coll. Orchid. (1858) 87

Small sympodial terrestrial plants, sometimes leafless, and then with underground rhizome. Stem, if present, elongated, slightly succulent, basal part creeping, forming a rhizome, apical part erect, short. Leaves, if present, few, crowded at the stem-apex, spirally arranged, sheathing at the base, glabrous, persistent, convolute, often dark brown, herbaceous. Inflorescence terminal, a few to many-flowered raceme. Flowers small, resupinate, not widely opening. Sepals free. Petals free, about as long as the dorsal sepal, usually cohering at the apices. Lip with a very short spur, at the base usually with two blister-like swellings, each with a small wart inside, not mobile. Column-foot absent. Pollinia 2, sectile, caudicles present, stipe absent, viscidium present. Stigma lobes not separated.

Species present in New Guinea:

Cystorchis orphnophila
Cystorchis peliocaulos
Cystorchis rostellata
Cystorchis versteegii

Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Pacific islands, east to Vanuatu. About 20 species; in New Guinea c. 5 species.

Terrestrial in lowland and montane forest.

  • Subfamily Orchidoideae
  • Tribe Cranichideae
  • Subtribe Goodyerinae
  • Genus Cystorchis
  • Smith, J.J. 1932. Die Orchideen der Anambas- und Natoena-Inseln. Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 30: 329-331.

This uncommon genus is easily recognised by the pair of blister-like swellings at the base of the lip (with a few exceptions that need further study). The leaves are often dark brown with paler markings. Rarely cultivated.

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Genus Cystorchis

Cystorchis rostellata J.J.Sm., flowers, photo A. Schuiteman, based on Yumte 62

Genus Cystorchis

Cystorchis rostellata J.J.Sm., leaves, photo A. Schuiteman, based on Yumte 62

Genus Cystorchis

Cystorchis sp., leaves, photo G. Stocker