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Flora of Taiwan | Family List | Orchidaceae

Gastrodia R. Br.


LEOU, Chong-Sheng

Terrestrial saprophytic herbs without chlorophylls. Rhizomes horizontal, tuberous, densely noded, often pubescent, with scales on node, rarely with coral-like roots. Stem erect, scaly on nodes. Leaves absent. Inflorescence terminal, racemose, bearing few to many bracteate flowers. Flowers resupinate, fleshy; ovary pedicellate, pedicels elongated in fruit or not; sepals and petals united, forming a 5-lobed perianth tube, or forming a urceolate structure being split between lateral sepals, petal lobes located near sinus of sepal lobes, smaller than sepal lobes; lip adnate to apex of column-foot, embraced by perianth tube, or rarely adnate to perianth tube, not lobed or rarely 3-lobed, clawed at base, blade often mobile, disc with or without lamellae or calli; column fairly long, erect on top of ovary, more or less semicylindrical, straight, narrowly 2-winged near apex, often with foot at base, rarely with ventral appendage; anther terminal on column, incumbent, pollinia 2, soft, granular, without viscidium; stigma single, near base or rarely near top on ventral side of column; rostellum small or rarely absent. Capsules cylindrical or ellipsoid.

Ca. 25 species, from the Himalaya eastward to Japan, and southward through Malaysia to Australia and New Zealand. Nine species found in Taiwan.


1 Apex of perianth tube 5-6-lobed, petal lobes externally distinct, inserted between dorsal sepal and lateral sepal lobes.   (2)
+ Apex of perianth tube 3-lobed, petal lobes included in tube, dorsal sepal lobe adjacent to lateral sepal lobes.   (4)
2 (1) Perianth tube 5-lobed, lobes entire at margins; lip not petaloid.   (3)
+ Perianth tube 6-lobed (including attached lip), lobes strongly undulate at margins; lip petaloid   Gastrodia autumnalis
3 (2) Perianth tube split between lateral sepals from base, inflated at base.   Gastrodia javanica
+ Perianth tube cleft to middle part between lateral sepals, ventricose below.   Gastrodia elata
4 (1) Raceme often less than 1 cm long; flowers crowded, tubular or bell-shaped.   (5)
+ Raceme 1.5-9 cm long; flowers laxly arranged, tubular.   (8)
5 (4) Sepals verrucose abaxially; lip not hairy; column-foot without protuberance.   (6)
+ Sepals smooth abaxially; lip white pubescent; column-foot with 2 semiglobose protuberance.   Gastrodia pubilabiata
6 (5) Lateral sepals joined together for 3/5 of their length; lip basally independent to perianth tube; column without appendage.   (7)
+ Lateral sepals joined together for 1/5 of their length; lip joined to perianth tube basally; column with a prominent ventral appendage.   Gastrodia appendiculata
7 (6) Flowers tubular, free tip of sepals straight, not recurved; lip smooth on disc.   Gastrodia confusa
+ Flowers bell-shaped, free tip of sepals recurved; lip with 6-8 ridges on disc.   Gastrodia fontinalis
8 (4) Rhizome bearing coral-like roots; floral bracts deciduous; flowers yellowish green.   Gastrodia flavilabella
+ Rhizome without coral-like roots; floral bracts persistent; flowers brownish.   Gastrodia gracilis

Lower Taxa

Related Synonym(s):


Related Objects  

Flora of China  
  • Gastrodia.pdf
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