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Genus Platanthera

Genus Platanthera

Platanthera Rich., Mém. Mus. Hist. Nat. 4 (1818) 48


  • Genus Blephariglottis Raf., Fl. Tellur. 2 (1836) 38
  • Genus Conopsidium Wallr., Linnaea 14 (1840) 147
  • Genus Diplanthera Raf., Herb. Raf. (1833) 73 (in syn.)
  • Genus Fimbriella Farwell ex Butzin, Willdenowia 11 (1981) 323
  • Genus Gymnadeniopsis Rydb. in Britton, Man. Fl. N. U.S. (1901) 293
  • Genus Habenella Small, Fl. Southeast U.S. (1903) 316
  • Genus Limnorchis Rydb., Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 1 (1900) 104
  • Genus Lindblomia Fries, Bot. Not. (1843) 134
  • Genus Lysias Salisb. ex Rydb., Trans. Hort. Soc. 1 (1812) 288
  • Genus Lysiella Rydb., Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 1 (1900) 104
  • Genus Mecosa Blume, Bijdr. (1825) 403
  • Genus Neolindleya Kraenzl., Orchid. Gen. Sp. 1 (1899) 651
  • Genus Tulotis Raf., Fl. Tellur. 2 (1836) 37

Sympodial terrestrial plants, with or without subterranean tubers. Stem short or elongated, few-leaved. Leaves sheathing at the base, glabrous, persistent, convolute, herbaceous. Inflorescence terminal, a few- to many-flowered raceme. Flowers small, resupinate, in Asian species white or green. Sepals free. Petals free, strongly oblique. Lip spurred, not mobile, usually entire. Column-foot absent. Pollinia 2, sectile, caudicles present, stipe absent, viscidium present. Stigma with a single, more or less concave surface.

Genus Platanthera in New Guinea contains 5 species and 1 variety:

Platanthera angustata
Platanthera arfakensis
Platanthera elliptica
Platanthera klossii
Platanthera klossii var. longicalcarata
Platanthera papuana

Genus Platanthera is distributed in North America, temperate Europe,and North Africa, continental Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Papua New Guinea. About 40 species; in New Guinea 5 species and 1 variety.

Terrestrial in open montane forest and subalpine grassland.

  • Pridgeon, A. M., P.J. Cribb, M.W. Chase & F.N. Rasmussen (Eds.). 2001. Genera Orchidacearum, Volume 2: Orchidoideae (Part 1). Pp. 345-350. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Subfamily Orchidoideae
  • Tribe Orchideae
  • Subtribe Orchidinae
  • Genus Platanthera

Differs from Habenaria and Peristylus in the structure of the stigma, as the stigma-lobes are adjacent and concave, not on separate processes. The New Guinea species are inconspicuous terrestrial mountain herbs with small green flowers.

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Genus Platanthera

Platanthera angustata (Blume) Lindl., inflorescence, photo P. O'Byrne, from Malaysia, Pahang

Genus Platanthera

Platanthera angustata (Blume) Lindl., habit, photo P. O'Byrne, from Malaysia, Pahang

Genus Platanthera

Platanthera angustata (Blume) Lindl., flower detail, photo A. Schuiteman, Leiden cult. 960063, from Peninsular Malaysia

Genus Platanthera

Platanthera papuana Schltr.,, drawing N.H.S. Howcroft 273, from Kuper Range, PNG