49. Dendrophylax Reichenbach f. in W. G. Walpers and K. Müller berol., Ann. Bot. Syst. 6: 903. 1864.
[Greek dendro, tree, and phylax, epiphyte or guardian, in reference to the epiphytic habit]
James D. Ackerman
Polyradicion Garay; Polyrrhiza Pfitzer
Herbs epiphytic, monopodial. Roots velamentous, fleshy, glabrous. Stems very short. Leaves early deciduous, conduplicate, articulate, sessile, minute. Inflorescences axillary, 1–10-flowered racemes; peduncle slender. Flowers resupinate, large; sepals and petals similar, spreading, distinct and free, lanceolate; lip free, 3-lobed, small to very large, lateral lobes relatively short, middle lobe entire or deeply lobed, basal spur elongate; column very short, without foot; clinandrium prominent, truncate; anthers terminal, incumbent, operculate; pollinia 2, globose, waxy, hard, attached to single or separate stipes; stigma entire; rostellum deeply notched; ovary pedicellate. Fruits capsules, narrowly cylindric, ribbed.
Species 10 (1 in the flora): s Florida, West Indies.
The Florida representative of Dendrophylax has been variously placed in Polyrrhiza Pfitzer (D. S. Correll 1950; C. A. Luer 1972) or Polyradicion Garay (L. A. Garay 1969). The type of Polyrrhiza is the Jamaican P. funalis (Swartz) Pfitzer, which is regarded as a Dendrophylax (W. Fawcett and A. E. Rendle 1910–1936, vol. 1; C. D. Adams 1972). Garay proposed Polyradicion to accommodate P. lindenii and another species. Recent research by M. Whitten (pers. comm.) on the molecular systematics of neotropical angraecoid taxa has shown that Polyradicion is phylogenetically embedded in Dendrophylax. Consequently, both Polyrrhiza and Polyradicion are best treated as synonyms of Dendrophylax.