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Genus Galeola

Genus Galeola

Galeola Lour., Fl. Cochinch. 2 (1790) 520


  • Genus Pogochilus Falc., J. Bot. (Hooker) 4 (1842) 73

Leafless, apparently monopodial terrestrial climbing plants lacking chlorophyll. Stems much elongated, with both a short scale-leaf and a root at each internode. Inflorescences lateral, branching; rachis and flowers at least partly hairy. Flowers small to medium-sized, resupinate, brownish yellow. Sepals free. Petals free, fairly similar to the lateral sepals. Lip without spur, not mobile, very fleshy, cup-shaped. Column-foot absent. Pollinia 2, mealy, caudicles absent, stipe absent, viscidium absent.

Madagascar, tropical continental Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea. About 10 species; in New Guinea one, non-endemic, species [Galeola nudifolia Lour.].

In lowland and montane forest, often in open places, rooting in decaying logs.

  • Subfamily Vanilloideae
  • Tribe Vanillineae
  • Genus Galeola
  • Stern, W.L.and W.S. Judd, W.S. 2000. Comparative anatomy and systematics of the orchid tribe Vanilleae excluding Vanilla. Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 134:179-202.

Galeola is a most unusual genus of leafless and chlorophyll-less climbers with yellowish or reddish brown stems that may become more than 20 m long. It is similar to Erythrorchis (not yet found in New Guinea, though it may well occur here). However, in that genus the flowers and the rachis are glabrous, .

Genus Galeola contains c. 10 species, in New Guinea:

Galeola nudifolia

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Genus Galeola

Galeola torana J.J.Sm., drawing J.J. Smith, from Gjellerup 766