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Genus Pachystoma

Genus Pachystoma

Pachystoma Blume, Bijdr. (1825) 376


  • Genus Apaturia Lindl., Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl. (1831) 130
  • Genus Pachychilus Blume, Fl. Javae (1828) vii

Sympodial terrestrial plants with a subterranean swollen rhizome. Leaf-bearing shoot almost stemless, 1- or 2-leaved. Leaves sheathing at the base, very narrow, glabrous, plicate, often withered at the time of flowering, thin-textured. Inflorescence arising from the rhizome, usually far separated from the leaf-bearing shoot, a few- to many-flowered raceme. Flowers small, resupinate, all parts hairy, including the column. Sepals free. Petals free, narrower than the sepals. Lip without spur, not mobile, at the base with a concavity which is almost closed by a callus on the short column-foot, 3-lobed, the midlobe with 5 to 7 warty keels. Pollinia 8, solid, caudicles present, stipe and viscidium absent.

Species present in New Guinea:

Pachystoma pubescens

India, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia, east to New Caledonia. About 6 (possibly only 1) species; one widespread species (Pachystoma pubescens Blume) in New Guinea.

In tall grassland at low altitudes, often subjected to periodic fires.

  • Pridgeon, A. M., P.J. Cribb, M.W. Chase & F.N. Rasmussen (Eds.). 2005. Genera Orchidacearum, Volume 4: Epidendroideae (Part one). Pp. 146-148. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Subfamily Epidendroideae
  • Tribe Collabieae
  • Genus Pachystoma

This may be mistaken for a leafless orchid, as the grass-like leaves have often disappeared at the time the leafless inflorescences carry their small pinkish flowers.

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Genus Pachystoma

Pachystoma pubescens Blume, inflorescence, photo G. Stocker

Genus Pachystoma

Pachystoma pubescens Blume, habit and floral analysis, drawing N.H.S. Howcroft 326, from Umi R.