Genus Phreatia

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia Lindl., Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl. (1830) 63

Synonyms:

  • Genus Plexaure Endl., Prodr. Fl. Norf. (1833) 30

Monopodial or sympodial plants, without, or with very short to long rhizomes. Stem very short or elongated. Pseudobulbs present or not, consisting of one to several internodes, when present 1- to few-leaved, when pseudobulbs absent stem few- to many-leaved. Leaves sheathing at the base, glabrous, rarely laterally compressed, deciduous, duplicate, rather thin-textured to leathery or carnose. Inflorescence lateral from the base of the pseudobulb, or lateral from the stem, a many-flowered raceme. Flowers small to very small, resupinate, white or greenish. Sepals free. Petals free, usually similar to the dorsal sepal, but somewhat smaller. Lip with or without spur, not mobile. Column-foot present. Pollinia 8, solid, caudicles present, stipe absent, viscidium present.


Northeast India, tropical East Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific islands, east to Tahiti. About 150 species; in New Guinea c. 100 species.

Epiphytic in evergreen lowland and montane forest.

  • Pridgeon, A. M., P.J. Cribb, M.W. Chase & F.N. Rasmussen (Eds.). 2005. Genera Orchidacearum, Volume 4: Epidendroideae (Part one). Pp. 591-593. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Subfamily Epidendroideae
  • Tribe Podochileae
  • Subtribe Thelasiinae
  • Genus Phreatia

A genus of rather inconspicuous plants, usually with dense racemes of many tiny white flowers, sometimes pleasantly fragrant. Phreatia is one of the few orchid genera where the vegetative parts are much more diverse than the flowers. It is related to Thelasis, but the more delicate flowers have a distinct column-foot and a short rostellum. In both genera we find species having well-developed, few-leaved pseudobulbs along a creeping rhizome, as well as species with only a few clustered stems with several to many leaves without rhizome or pseudobulbs. Identification of the species of Phreatia is often difficult since the flowers generally show few distinguishing characters. Schlechter proposed a division into sections that is partly based on floral characters and partly on vegetative ones. As in many other genera we have found his classification, even though it will probably not reflect the phylogeny of the genus, useful for identification purposes. We depart from his classification in that we refer his sections Diplostypus and Rhynchophreatia to the genus Thelasis (sect. Hemithelasis). We must also add that we have grave doubts if the distinction between sections Plexaure (short-stemmed plants without pseudobulbs) and Caulophreatia (long-stemmed plants without pseudobulbs) can be upheld. Species of Phreatia are rarely observed in cultivation and we can hardly foresee a future in which this will change to any great extent.


KEY TO THE SECTIONS OF THE GENUS PHREATIA

1a Plant with pseudobulbs, often with distinct creeping rhizome ................... 2
1b Plant without pseudobulbs, without rhizome .......................................... 3

2a Lip with a forward pointing spur ............................................................ section Saccophreatia
2b Lip with a saccate claw ........................................................................ section Phreatia

3a Plant fan-like; stem short, mainly formed by the overlapping leaf sheaths ... section Rhizophyllum
3b Plant with elongated stems with scattered leaves..................................... sect. Caulophreatia


Genus Phreatia in New Guinea contains 140 species:

Phreatia albiflora
Phreatia alpina
Phreatia altigena
Phreatia amabilis
Phreatia angustifolia
Phreatia beiningiana
Phreatia bicostata
Phreatia biechinata
Phreatia bigibbosa
Phreatia bismarckiensis
Phreatia brachyphylla
Phreatia brachyphyton
Phreatia brachystachys
Phreatia bracteata
Phreatia brevicaulis
Phreatia brevis
Phreatia breviscapa
Phreatia bulbophylloides
Phreatia caespitosa
Phreatia calcarata
Phreatia caudaeflora
Phreatia caudata var. caudata
Phreatia caudata var. tenuissima
Phreatia chionantha
Phreatia coelonychia
Phreatia collina
Phreatia concinna
Phreatia constricta
Phreatia crinonioides
Phreatia cryptostigma
Phreatia cucullata
Phreatia curvata
Phreatia cylindrostachya
Phreatia cylindrostachya var. grandifolia
Phreatia deltoides
Phreatia dendrochiloides
Phreatia densispica
Phreatia densissima
Phreatia dischorensis
Phreatia djamuensis
Phreatia dulcis
Phreatia elongata
Phreatia falcata
Phreatia finisterrae
Phreatia flaccida
Phreatia ganggapensis
Phreatia gladiata
Phreatia goliathensis
Phreatia govidjoae
Phreatia gracilis
Phreatia grandiflora
Phreatia habbemae
Phreatia hollandiana
Phreatia imitans
Phreatia iridifolia
Phreatia jadunae
Phreatia kaniensis
Phreatia kempfii
Phreatia kempteri
Phreatia keysseri
Phreatia klossii
Phreatia lasioglossa
Phreatia laxa
Phreatia laxa var. perlaxa
Phreatia leioglossa
Phreatia leptophylla
Phreatia leucostachya
Phreatia linearifolia
Phreatia longibractea
Phreatia longicaulis
Phreatia longimentum
Phreatia loriae
Phreatia louisiadum
Phreatia macra
Phreatia matthewsii
Phreatia maxima
Phreatia mentosa
Phreatia micholitzii
Phreatia micrantha
Phreatia microphyton
Phreatia microtatantha
Phreatia minima
Phreatia modesta
Phreatia monticola
Phreatia monticola var. minor
Phreatia muscicola
Phreatia myriantha
Phreatia nebularum
Phreatia nutans
Phreatia oreogena
Phreatia oxyantheroides
Phreatia paleata
Phreatia papuana
Phreatia petiolata
Phreatia petiolata var. eitapensis
Phreatia pholidotoides
Phreatia pisifera
Phreatia plagiopetala
Phreatia platychila
Phreatia platyclinoides
Phreatia pleistantha
Phreatia polyantha
Phreatia procera
Phreatia protensa
Phreatia pulchella
Phreatia pumilio
Phreatia quadrata
Phreatia quinquelobulata
Phreatia renilabris
Phreatia repens
Phreatia resiana
Phreatia rhomboglossa
Phreatia rupestris
Phreatia saccifera
Phreatia scandens
Phreatia scaphioglossa
Phreatia seleniglossa
Phreatia semiorbicularis
Phreatia semiorbicularis var. angiensis
Phreatia similis
Phreatia simplex
Phreatia sororia
Phreatia sororia var. litoralis
Phreatia spathilabia
Phreatia spathulata
Phreatia stenophylla
Phreatia stipulata
Phreatia subalpina
Phreatia subcrenulata
Phreatia subsacculata
Phreatia subtriloba
Phreatia tenuis
Phreatia teretifolia
Phreatia transversiloba
Phreatia trilobulata
Phreatia urostachya
Phreatia vaginata
Phreatia valida
Phreatia vanimoana
Phreatia virescens


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Genus Phreatia

Phreatia sp., habit, photo A. Schuiteman, based on Yumte 175, possibly an undescribed species, with very succulent leaves

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia iridifolia aff., plant habit, photo E.F. de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20030656

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia iridifolia Schltr. aff., flowers, photo A. Schuiteman, based on Leiden cult. 20030656

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia iridifolia aff., flowers, various views, photo E.F. de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20030656

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia micrantha (A.Rich.) Schltr., plant habit, photo E.F. de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20030759

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia micrantha (A.Rich.) Schltr., flowers, various views, photo E.F. de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20030759

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia paleata (Rchb.f.) Rchb.f. ex Kraenzl., flower, lateral view, photo A. Schuiteman, based on Leiden cult. 20031530

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia scandens J.J.Sm., habit, photo N.E.G. Cruttwell (10/86, PNG, Mt. Gahavisuka)

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia sp. sect. Bulbophreatia, inflorescence. Mt. Konokalang top, 1565 m, NIP, photo E.F. de Vogel

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia sp. sect. Caulophreatia ('latifolia'), flowers, various views, photo E.F. de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20032179

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia sp. sect. Caulophreatia ('latifolia'), flowers, various views, photo E.F. de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20032179

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia sp. sect. Caulophreatia ('latifolia'), plant habit, photo E.F. de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20032451

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia sp. sect. Caulophreatia ('latifolia'), inflorescence, photo E.F. de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20032451

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia sp. sect. Caulophreatia, habit (in situ), photo N.E.G. Cruttwell (7/68, PNG, Mt. Donana)

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia sp. sect. Caulophreatia ('latifolia'), habit, photo J.B. Comber, cultivated at Highland Orchid Collection, Laiagam, PNG

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia, habit (in situ), photo N.E.G. Cruttwell (9/88, PNG, Mt. Gahavisuka)

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia sp. sect. Rhizophyllum, habit (in situ), photo J.B. Comber, from PNG, Lae

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia sp. sect. Caulophreatia ('latifolia'), flower, oblique front view, photo E.F. de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20030678

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia sp. sect. Rhizophyllum, plants among lichens on tree trunk, photo E.F. de Vogel

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia sp. sect. Rhizophyllum, plant habit, photo E.F. de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20030351

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia sp. sect. Rhizophyllum, inflorescence, photo E.F. de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20030635

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia sp. sect. Rhizophyllum, flowers, photo E.F. de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20030635

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia sp. sect. Rhizophyllum, plant habit, photo E.F. de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20030634

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia sp. sect. Rhizophyllum, inflorescence, photo E.F. de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20030634

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia sp. sect. Rhizophyllum, plant habit, photo E.F. de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20030635

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia sp. sect. Rhizophyllum, plant habit, photo E.F. de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20030633

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia sp. sect. Rhizophyllum, plant habit, photo E.F. de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20030658

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia sp. sect. Rhizophyllum, flowers, photo E.F. de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20030658

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia sect. Rhizophyllum, flower, photo A. Schuiteman, based on Leiden cult. 20050917

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia sp. sect. Rhizophyllum, habit (in situ), photo A. Schuiteman, based on Yumte 93

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia sp. sect. Rhizophyllum, inflorescences, photo A. Schuiteman, based on Yumte 93

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia sect. Rhizophyllum, flowers, photo A. Schuiteman, based on Leiden cult. 20032280

Genus Phreatia

Phreatia cylindrostachya Schltr., habit and floral analysis, drawing N.H.S. Howcroft 334, from Gumi