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Genus Podochilus

Genus Podochilus

Podochilus Blume, Bijdr. (1825) 295, t. 12. Type species: Podochilus lucescens Blume.


  • Genus Apista Blume, Bijdr. (1825) 296. Type species: Apista tenuis Blume.
  • Genus Cryptoglottis Blume, Bijdr. (1825) 296. Type species: Cryptoglottis serpyllifolia Blume.
  • Genus Hexameria R.Br. in Benn., Pl. Jav. Rar. (1838) 26. t. 7. Type species: Hexameriadisticha R.Br.
  • Genus Placostigma Blume, Fl. Javae (1828) 6.. Type species: Not designated
  • Genus Platysma Blume, Bijdr. (1825) 295. Type species: Platysma gracilis Blume.

Small sympodial epiphytes or lithophytes. rarely terrestrials. Rhizomes very short, Stems either branching and forming dense mats, or not branched, tufted, elongated, wiry, not fleshy, many-leaved .Leaves duplicate, distichous, dorso-ventrally flattened or laterally compressed, deciduous or not, usually less than 1 cm long, stiffly thin-textured to carnose, glabrous; sheathing at the base. Inflorescence terminal, sometimes lateral as well, usually less than 2 cm long, a few- to several-flowered raceme or carrying a single flower. Flowers usually opening in succession, very small, resupinate, often hardly opening, usually whitish with purple spots at the apex. Lateral sepals connate at the base or free, forming a mentum, sometimes also the dorsal sepal connate with the lateral sepals. Petals free, usually narrower than the dorsal sepal. Lip entire or obscurely 3-lobed, without spur, not mobile, inside with a simple or 2-lobed appendage. Column foot present; anther erect; pollinia 4, solid, enveloped in tubular sheaths; caudicles absent; stipe absent; viscidium present.

Tropical Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia. About 60 species; in New Guinea about 15 species.

Epiphytes in evergreen lowland forest.

  • Pridgeon, A. M., P.J. Cribb, M.W. Chase & F.N. Rasmussen (Eds.). 2005. Genera Orchidacearum, Volume 4: Epidendroideae (Part one). Pp. 575-577. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Family Orchidaceae
  • Subfamily Epidendroideae
  • Tribe Podochileae
  • Subtribe Eriinae
  • Genus Podochilus

Genus Podochilus is similar to Genus Appendicula, but differs in the 4 instead of 6 pollinia. The tiny whitish flowers are even smaller than those in Appendicula. These often moss-like epiphytes are rarely cultivated.

Key to the sections of Podochilus

1a Leaves laterally compressed, not articulated with the leaf-sheath == section Sarganella (not in New Guinea)
1b Leaves laterally compressed or dorsoventrally flattened, articulated with the leaf-sheath == 2

2a Pollinia with a single viscidium == section Podochilus (synonym: sect. Apista)
2b Pollinia with two viscidia == section Diadena

Genus Podochilus in New Guinea contains 15 species:

Podochilus anguinus
Podochilus bilobulatus
Podochilus densiflorus
Podochilus falcipetalus
Podochilus filiformis
Podochilus hellwigii
Podochilus imitans
Podochilus klossii
Podochilus lancilabris
Podochilus polytrichoides
Podochilus scalpelliformis
Podochilus smithianus
Podochilus steinii
Podochilus trichocarpus
Podochilus warianus

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Genus Podochilus

Podochilus hellwigii Schltr., flower, photo A. Schuiteman, based on Yumte 57

Genus Podochilus

Podochilus imitans Schltr., plant habit, photo E.F. de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20031580

Genus Podochilus

Podochilus imitans Schltr., floral analysis, drawing J.J. Smith, from Versteeg 1164

Genus Podochilus

Podochilus polytrichoides Schltr., stems with flowers, photo E.F. de Vogel, based on NCBG Port Moresby

Genus Podochilus

Podochilus scalpelliformis Blume, plant habit, photo E.F. de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20031752

Genus Podochilus

Podochilus scalpelliformis Blume, flowers, photo E.F. de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20031752