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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 26 | Orchidaceae | Cyclopogon

1. Cyclopogon cranichoides (Grisebach) Schlechter, Beih. Bot. Centralbl. 37: 387. 1920.

Pelexia cranichoides Grisebach, Cat. Pl. Cub., 269. 1866; Beadlea cranichoides (Grisebach) Small; B. storeri (Chapman) Small; Sauroglossum cranichoides (Grisebach) Ames; Spiranthes cranichoides (Grisebach) Cogniaux; S. storeri Chapman

Herbs small, to 40 cm. Roots fusiform, to 4.5 cm × 4–8 mm, fleshy. Stems subterranean, short. Leaves 3–8; petiole spreading to suberect, 1.1–3.5(–5.5) cm; blade abaxially purplish, adaxially dark purplish green, sometimes with whitish markings, broadly elliptic to ovate, 2.5–8 × 1.3–3.8 cm, apex obtuse to acute. Inflorescences mottled, purplish; scape pubescent; raceme continuously elongating as fruits mature, to 15 cm, pubescent; floral bracts mottled, lanceolate, longer than ovary. Flowers tubular-funnelform; sepals greenish brown, pubescent; dorsal sepal midvein and margins dark near apex, narrowly elliptic to narrowly pandurate, 3.5–5 × 1.2–2 mm, apex acute; lateral sepals often reflexed, narrowly elliptic to narrowly pandurate, 4–6 × 1–1.5 mm, apex acute; petals greenish-brownish proximally, greenish white distally with midvein and apical margins dark brown, narrowly spatulate-oblanceolate, 4.5 × 0.5–1 mm, apex acute, oblique; lip white, canaliculate, oblong, constricted distal to middle, broadest proximal to constriction, to 5 × 2.5 mm, base gibbose, with pair of tubercles, margins entire, apex slightly flared; column slender, 3.5 mm; pollinia yellow; pedicellate ovary 4–7 mm. Capsules erect, ellipsoid, 6–8 × 3.5–4.5 mm.

Flowering Feb--Mar. In humus of shady moist hammocks; 0--100 m; Fla.; West Indies; Central America; n South America.

Fruit production in Cyclopogon cranichoides is pollen limited (R. N. Calvo 1990). Natural fruit set was 26–62% over a 4-year period, whereas hand pollinations gave better than 96% fruit set. Contrary to most other studies of orchids, Calvo did not detect a cost of reproduction associated with resource constraints.


Calvo, R. N. 1990. Four-year growth and reproduction of Cyclopogon cranichoides (Orchidaceae) in south Florida. Amer. J. Bot. 77: 736–741.


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