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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 26 | Orchidaceae

6. Goodyera R. Brown, Hortus Kew. 5: 197. 1813.

Rattlesnake-plantain, lattice-leaf, goodyérie [for John Goodyer, 1592–1664, British botanist]

Jacquelyn A. Kallunki

Herbs, terrestrial, rhizomatous, scapose, glabrous except for rather sticky, multicellular hairs on peduncles, bracts, sepals, and ovaries. Roots arising from nodes of rhizome, fibrous. Stems erect, with rosette of leaves, not succulent. Leaves evergreen, more than 1, in basal rosette, petiolate; blade commonly marked with white to pale green. Inflorescences terminal, 5–72-flowered spikes, erect; peduncles with sheathing bracts. Flowers resupinate, white, sometimes tinged green, ivory, or brown, sessile; sepals distinct, nearly equal; dorsal sepal and petals forming hood; lip free from column, fleshy, base concave to saccate, apex ligulate or pointed; anther 1, erect or inflexed; pollinia 2, sectile; rostellum notched or 2-pronged. Fruits capsules, erect, dehiscing along 3 ribs.

Species 40–100 (4 in the flora): nearly worldwide, primarily Southeast Asia; ca. 16 species in Western Hemisphere.

The four species of Goodyera in the flora are sometimes difficult to distinguish, especially without flowers. This difficulty is compounded, even with flowers, by the intermediate nature of Goodyera tesselata, which is likely an allotetraploid derived from G. repens with white-reticulate leaves and G. oblongifolia, and by the presence of triploid hybrids in some mixed populations of the three species.


Kallunki, J. A. 1976. Population studies in Goodyera (Orchidaceae) with emphasis on the hybrid origin of G. tesselata. Brittonia 28: 53–75. Kallunki, J. A. 1981. Reproductive biology of mixed-species populations of Goodyera (Orchidaceae) in northern Michigan. Brittonia 33: 137–155.

1 Lip scrotiform, apex reflexed, no fleshy callosities on inner surface; rostellum notched; inflorescences cylindric (equally dense on all sides); leaves with midrib bordered by broad white bands and lateral veins traced with narrower white bands, both sharply demarcated from adjacent green tissue.   1 Goodyera pubescens
+ Lip deeply concave or saccate, apex spreading or recurved, fleshy callosities on inner surface; rostellum with 2-pronged beak; inflorescences loosely spiraled or secund (infrequently cylindric); leaves uniformly green or reticulate with white or pale green on midrib and/or lateral veins.   (2)
2 (1) Leaf blades usually with only midrib whitened (infrequently with lateral veins, especially those near midrib, lightly penciled in white); sepals 5.7–7.8 mm; lip 4.9–7.9 mm; rostellar beak 2.3–3.6 mm; lip apex short, spreading or slightly arching with upright or involute margins.   2 Goodyera oblongifolia
+ Leaf blades uniformly green or reticulate with white or pale green on lateral veins and sometimes midrib (very infrequently only midrib whitened in G. tesselata); sepals 3–6 mm; lip 1.8–5.5 mm; rostellar beak 1.7 mm or less; lip apex spreading or recurved with spreading margins.   (3)
3 (2) Lip narrowly saccate with elongate, recurved apex; rostellar beak 0.2–0.6 mm, shorter than body of stigma.   3 Goodyera repens
+ Lip deeply concave with short spreading or recurved apex; rostellar beak 0.6–1.7 mm, equal to or longer than body of stigma.   4 Goodyera tesselata

Lower Taxa


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