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Genus Odontochilus

Genus Odontochilus

Odontochilus Blume, Coll. Orchid. (1858) 79; Odontochilus Blume, FI. Javae Nov. Ser. 1 (1858-1859) 66. Type species: Odontochilus flavescens (Blume) Blume.


  • Genus Cystopus Blume, Coll. Orchid. (1858) 82. Type species:
  • Genus Evrardianthe Rauschert
  • Genus Kuhlhasseltia J.J.Sm., Icon. Bogor . 4 (1910) t. 301. Type species: Kuhlhasseltia javanica J.J.Sm
  • Genus Myrmechis Blume, Coll. Orchid. (1859) 76. Type species: Myrmechis gracilis (Blume) Blume
  • Genus Pristiglottis Cretz. & J.J.Sm., Acta Fauna Fl. Universali, ser. 2, Bot., 1, 14 (1934) 4
  • Genus Vexillabium F.Maek., J. Jap. Bot. 11 (1935) 457. Type species: Vexillabium nakaianum F.Maek.

Terrestrial, small, sympodial, 5-10 cm high. Rhizome long, decumbent, stem-like; roots short, shortly villose. Stem terete, slightly succulent, glabrous, 4- to 6-leaved. Leaves distributed along the erect part of the stem or crowded at the stem-apex, spirally arranged, patent, petiolate; petiole at the base dilated, sheathing the stem, 0.7-1 cm long; blade ovate or ovate-lanceolate, acute or shortly acuminate, glabrous on both sides, 1.5-3 by 0.9-1.5 cm. Inflorescence short, erect, few- to several-flowered. Floral bracts lanceolate, acuminate, glabrous, usually longer than the ovary. Flowers erect-patent, small (but relatively large for the plant) to medium-sized, resupinate. Sepals porrect, oblong-ligulate, obtuse, glabrous, connate in basal third, 1.3 cm long. Lateral sepals oblique, at the base along the anterior margin lobed-dilated, connate into a short obtuse sac, or free. Petals free, obliquely linear-ligulate, obtuse, glabrous, about as long as the sepals. Lip usually without spur, not mobile, c. 1.5 by 0.4 cm; spur, if present, bilobed, or base ovate-cucullate, there with two warts; middle part with incurved margins, forming a tubular linear claw with undulate to fringed apical margin; apex with an elliptic lobe 0.45 by 0.3 cm that is somewhat broader than the claw when expanded. Column short, without column foot, in front with two lamellae, glabrous; rostellum lanceolate, bifid; anther lanceolate, acute; pollinia 2, sectile, caudicles present, stipe absent, viscidium present.. Ovary cylindrical, 0.8 cm long, glabrous.
(After Schlechter, 1911-1914, amended)

Flowers white, green, or bluish.

Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Pacific islands, east to Samoa. About 15 species; in New Guinea 4 species.

Terrestrial in montane forest.

  • Howcroft, N.H.S. 1984. A guide to the Monocotyledons of Papua New Guinea. Part 4. The Orchidaceae (in part). Pp. 72-75, fig. 41. PNG University of Technology, Lae.(Kuhlhasseltia papuana)
  • Pridgeon, A. M., P.J. Cribb, M.W. Chase & F.N. Rasmussen (Eds.). 2003. Genera Orchidacearum, Volume 3: Orchidoideae (Part 2), Vanilloideae 110-111, fig. 149.1. Oxford University Press, Oxford. (as Kuhlhasseltia)
  • Pridgeon, A. M., P.J. Cribb, M.W. Chase & F.N. Rasmussen (Eds.). 2003. Genera Orchidacearum, Volume 3: Orchidoideae (Part 2), Vanilloideae 126-129 (as Pristiglottis). Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Yukawa, T. Taxonomic notes on the Orchidaceae of Japan and Adjacent Regions. Bull. Natl. Mus. Nat. Sco, Ser. B, 42 (3) 106.
  • Family Orchidaceae
  • Tribe Cranichideae
  • Subtribe Goodyerinae
  • Genus Odontochilus

Odontochilus is a genus of delicate and rarely encountered inhabitants of the forest floor. The flowers are similar to those of Anoectochilus, but the stigmatic surface is not divided into two widely separated lobes. More research is needed into the phylogeny of Anoectochilus, Odontochilus and Pristiglottis to decide on the status of these genera. Species of Odontochilus are virtually unknown in cultivation. They lack the beautiful foliage of some species of Anoectochilus.

The genus Odontochilus in New Guinea is present with 6 species:

Odontochilus chalmersii
Odontochilus coerulescens
Odontochilus fimbriatus
Odontochilus papuanus
Odontochilus puberulus
Odontochilus pectinifera

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Genus Odontochilus

Odontochilus coerulescens (Schltr.) Yukawa (as Pristiglottis coerulescens (Schltr.) Cretz. & J.J.Sm.), inflorescence, photo N.E.G. Cruttwell (4/83, PNG, Mt. Gahavisuka)