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Flora of Taiwan | Family List | Orchidaceae

Calanthe R. Br.


Terrestrial perennial herbs. Rhizomes distinct or obscure. Pseudobulbs small, globose to clavate, usually covered by base of leaves, rarely large and conspicuous. Leaves arising from pseudobulbs, usually broad, rarely linear, thin and plicate, base narrowed into a long or short petiole or sheath. Inflorescence a raceme, arising from leaf axils or from base of pseudobulb, densely or loosely flowered; bracts small and persistent or large and deciduous. Flowers with wide spreading or connivent sepals and petals; sepals subequal, spreading or connivent; petals broad or narrow; lip short clawed, base connate with column and forming a tube, or rarely free and adnate to base of column, spurred or spurless, limb usually 3-lobed, rarely unlobed, disc often ridged or with callose protuberances at base; column short or long, obliquely truncate, joined to base of lip for varying length or rarely free from lip; anther terminal, incumbent, conical or cap like, usually cordate in outline, 2-celled; pollinia 8, clavate, waxy, connected by caudicles into 2 groups and attached to a viscidium; stigma on ventral side of column or rarely terminal, receptive surface solitary or 2-parted; rostellum short to long or rarely absent, entire or shallowly to deeply bilobed. Capsules oblong, often pendulous.

More than 150 species, widely distributed from tropical Africa and Madagascar to tropical and subtropical Asia, China, Japan, southward through Malaysia and Indonesia to the Pacific islands and Australia. Species in Taiwan, 19.

Su, H. J. 1990. Taxonomical and ecological studies on the native species of Calanthe and Phaius (Orchidaceae) in Taiwan. I. Calanthe sect. Calothyrsus; Quart. J. Expt. Forest. Natl. Taiwan Univ. 4(2): 143-160; II. Calanthe sect. Styloglossum, Phaius and Cephalantheropsis. 4(3): 81-96.


1 Rhizomes regularly present; pseudobulbs 1 cm or more apart; bracts caducous; rostellum obscure, or if present, undivided at apex.   (2)
+ Rhizomes not regularly present; pseudobulbs closely aggregated; bracts persistent; rostellum present, shallowly to deeply 2-lobed.   (7)
2 (1) Lip spurless, unlobed.   Calanthe actinomorpha
+ Lip spurred, 3-lobed.   (3)
3 (2) Leaves linear to linear-oblong, 1.5-3 cm wide, 12-16 times longer than wide; flowers whitish.   Calanthe angustifolia
+ Leaves lanceolate or oblanceolate, more than 4 cm wide, 4-12 times longer than wide; flowers yellow or pale yellow.   (4)
4 (3) Surface of ovary verrucose; flowers not patent or slightly patent; rostellum obscure or none   Calanthe lyroglossa
+ Surface of ovary smooth; flowers subpatent; rostellum long and prominent.   (5)
5 (4) Pseudobulbs obscure, concealed by base of petiole; petiole convolute, forming a slender false stem; inflorescence corymbiform; column fused with base of lip for 2/9 its length   Calanthe densiflora
+ Pseudobulbs distinct, 2-7 cm long; leaves clasping at base but not forming a false stem; column fused with base of lip for nearly entire length.   (6)
6 (5) Leaves oblong-linear, 6-12 times longer than wide; flowers pale yellow; disc of lip with 2 short erect lamellae; rostellum 1.5-2 mm long.   Calanthe clavata
+ Leaves elliptic oblong, 6-8 times longer than wide; flowers yellow; disc of lip with 2 rounded mounds; rostellum 3 mm long   Calanthe speciosa
7 (1) Pseudobulbs clavate; lateral lobes of lip linear-rectangular; stigma with 2 receptive surface; rostellum deeply 2-lobed.   (8)
+ Pseudobulbs ovoid, globose to ellipsoid; lateral lobes of lip various, not linear-rectangular; stigma with one receptive surface; rostellum shallowly 2-lobed.   (12)
8 (7) Sepals black spotted outside.   Calanthe alismifolia
+ Sepals not black spotted outside.   (9)
9 (8) Leaves linear, sessile, without distinct petiole; flowers not resupinate; sepals and petals reflexed.   Calanthe davidii
+ Leaves elliptic to oblong, with narrow petiole; flowers resupinate; sepals and petals not reflexed.   (10)
10 (9) Roots usually 4-5 mm thick; flowers white; midlobe of lip deeply 2 lobulate, lobules 1/2 to 2/3 length of midlobe; spur 12-20 mm long.   Calanthe triplicata
+ Roots less than 4 mm thick; flowers white to purple, midlobe of lip shallowly 2-lobulate, lobules less than 1/3 length of midlobe; spur 24-40 mm long.   (11)
11 (10) Roots 3-4 mm thick; flowers white, pale purple or purple; midlobe of lip slightly clawed at base; spur 24-32 mm long.   Calanthe x dominii
+ Roots 2-3 mm thick; flowers pale purple to purple; midlobe of lip distinctly stalked at base; spur 2440 mm long.   Calanthe sylvatica
12 (7) Flowers white, sometimes tinged with light purple outside.   (13)
+ Flowers yellow, purple or with various combinations of colors, not white.   (14)
13 (12) Ovary nearly glabrous, with prominent sharp ridges; spur 12-16 mm long, straight or bent forward at apex   Calanthe arisanensis
+ Ovary puberulent; with low obtuse ridges; spur 20-32 mm long, straight and pointing upward from pendulous flower.   Calanthe aristulifera
14 (12) Petals obovate; lateral lobes of lip often recurved.   Calanthe graciliflora
+ Petals elliptic to linear; lateral lobes of lip horizontally spreading.   (15)
15 (14) Leaves usually more than 3, obovate-oblanceolate to linear; dorsal sepal ovate-lanceolate; petals linear to linear-falcate.   (16)
+ Leaves usually 2-4, elliptic or rarely obovate; dorsal sepal and petals elliptic.   (17)
16 (15) Leaves 3-6, oblanceolate to linear, decurrent into petiole; sepals and petals light purple to purple; lip without spur.   Calanthe puberula
+ Leaves 5-7 or more, linear, without distinct petiole; sepals and petals greenish and with reddish brown stripes or nearly reddish brown throughout; lip with distinct short spur.   Calanthe arcuata
17 (15) Sepals pale purple to purple, aristate; lip flabellate, not lobed, fimbriate.   Calanthe alpina
+ Sepals golden yellow or yellowish green, acute; lip 3-lobed, entire or crispate.   (18)
18 (17) Flowers golden yellow; lip spurred; midlobe oblong rectangular; disc with 3 straight ridges.   Calanthe sieboldii
+ Flowers yellowish green, with red on lip; lip spurless, midlobe reniform; disc with 3-5 crispate ridges.   Calanthe tricarinata

  • List of lower taxa


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