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Genus Rhomboda

Genus Rhomboda

Rhomboda Lindl., J. Linn. Soc., Bot. 1 (1857) 181

Sympodial terrestrial plants. Stem elongated, slightly succulent, basal part creeping, forming a rhizome, apical part erect, few-leaved. Leaves crowded at the stem apex, sheathing at the base, glabrous, persistent, convolute, dark green or brownish, with a white or reddish mid-vein, herbaceous. Inflorescence a terminal, many-flowered raceme. Flowers small, usually only partly resupinate (lip pointing sideways), brownish with white petals and lip. Sepals free. Petals free, about as long as the dorsal sepal, usually cohering at the apices. Lip not spurred, not mobile, at the base with 2 warts, inside in the middle with two closely parallel crests, outside laterally with a low keel. Column in front with two longitudinal lamellae. Column-foot absent. Pollinia sectile, caudicles present, stipe absent, viscidium present. Stigma with 2 clearly separated lobes.

Species present in New Guinea:

Rhomboda alticola
Rhomboda alticola var. finisterrae
Rhomboda atrorubens
Rhomboda lanceolata
Rhomboda novaehiberniae
Rhomboda polygonoides


Tropical continental Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Solomon Islands. About 20 species; in New Guinea about 4 species.

Terrestrial in evergreen hill and montane forest.

  • Ormerod, P. 1995. A reinstatement of Rhomboda Lindl. (Orchidaceae subtribe Goodyerinae). Orchadian 11: 323-339.
  • Pridgeon, A. M., P.J. Cribb, M.W. Chase & F.N. Rasmussen (Eds.). 2003. Genera Orchidacearum, Volume 3: Orchidoideae (Part 2), Vanilloideae. Pp. 142-145. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Subfamily Orchidoideae
  • Tribe Cranichideae
  • Subtribe Goodyerinae
  • Genus Rhomboda

The species of this genus are usually referred to Anoectochilus or Hetaeria. They differ from Anoectochilus in that the lateral crests on the lip are not toothed or fringed, from Hetaeria in that the flowers are at least partly resupinate. In Hetaeria there are two groups of two or more papillae at the base of the lip; in Rhomboda there are two solitary warts. The leaves of Hetaeria species do not have a white or red mid-vein as they always seem to possess in Rhomboda. Zeuxine is also closely related, but differs in that the lip lacks the crests seen in Rhomboda, and by the leaves lacking a white or pink mid-vein. Moreover, it appears that the pollinia of Rhomboda are not attached to a glassy stipe, as they usually are in Zeuxine. Species of Rhomboda are probably not in cultivation, although some have rather attractive foliage.


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Genus Rhomboda

Rhomboda sp., inflorescence, photo Ed de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20111377 from PNG, PNG, East New Britain Prov.

Genus Rhomboda

Rhomboda sp., plant habit, photo Ed de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20111377 from PNG, PNG, East New Britain Prov.

Genus Rhomboda

Rhomboda sp., inflorescencr view, photo Ed de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20111377 from PNG, PNG, East New Britain Prov.

Genus Rhomboda

Rhomboda sp., flower, oblique front view, photo Ed de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20111377 from PNG, PNG, East New Britain Prov.

Genus Rhomboda

Rhomboda sp., flower, oblique lateral view, photo Ed de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20111377 from PNG, PNG, East New Britain Prov.

Genus Rhomboda

Rhomboda sp., flower, lateral view, photo Ed de Vogel, based on Leiden cult. 20111377 from PNG, PNG, East New Britain Prov.

Genus Rhomboda

Rhomboda alticola (Schltr.) Ormerod, in situ, photo A.J. de Wilde, near Goroka, PNG

Genus Rhomboda

Rhomboda alticola (Schltr.) Ormerod, habit, photo N.E.G. Cruttwell (5/81, PNG, Mt. Gahavisuka)

Genus Rhomboda

Rhomboda alticola (Schltr.) Ormerod, habit, photo Roy. Bot. Gard.Edinburgh, based on Maclennan 144

Genus Rhomboda

Rhomboda alticola (Schltr.) Ormerod, flowers, photo N.E.G. Cruttwell (5/81, PNG, Mt. Gahavisuka)

Genus Rhomboda

Rhomboda polygonoides (F.Muell.) Ormerod, drawing J.J. Smith, from Janowsky 208

Genus Rhomboda

Rhomboda polygonoides (F.Muell.) Ormerod, drawing J.J. Smith, from Janowsky 208