Volume 5 September Number 3 1999 a quarterly devoted to the orchids of North America published by the



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Volume 5 Number 3 CONTENTS NOTES FROM THE EDITOR 201 September 1999




1. p. 295 - Zettler: Platanthera integra; P. leucophaea 2. p. 296 - Empiricist: glass flowers 3. p. 297 - Coleman: Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens variations 4. p. 298 - Coleman: Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens variations Unless otherwise credited, all drawings in this issue are by Stan Folsom Unless otherwise credited graphics (charts, maps etc. ) are created by the individual authors. The opinions expressed in the Journal are those of the authors. Scientific articles may be subject to peer review and popular articles will be examined for both accuracy and scientific content. Volume 5, number 3, pages 201- 298; issued September 5, 1999. Copyright 1999 by the North American Native Orchid Alliance, Inc. Cover: Polyradicion lindenii by Stan Folsom


This September issue brings you four more papers from the 4th Annual North American Native Orchid Conference held last April in Tampa, Florida. One additional paper remains for the December issue - A History of the Fakahatchee Strand by Mike Owens. Please refer to the March issue for details of my paper on Spiranthes eatonii. At this time we appear to be back on track with both the mailing and timing of the Journals. Starting with this issue we are experimenting with plastic mailers instead of paper to try to minimize the damage that has occurred to the paper envelopes. Please note several things in this issue: Your 2000 renewal notice is included Claims for lost or damaged December 1998 or March & June 1999 issues must be made by December of 1999, please Registrations for the 5th Annual North American Native Orchid Conference to be held from July 1620, 2000 in Olympic National Park, Port Angeles, Washington are coming in every week, so do not


delay in sending yours if you are planning to attend. The Journal is in need of articles for Volume 6 (2000) for the coming year. We do have a very special 4-part series planned that will enumerate all of the rare, threatened and endangered orchid species in North America (north of Mexico) for each individual state and province. Eventually the four articles will be available as a special reference publication. Anne & Ken Wagner are working on this project with me and it promises to be interesting reading as well as an excellent reference work. Please send all correspondence after September 15 to the Florida address. Paul Martin Brown Editor PO Box 772121 Ocala, Florida 34477-2121 352/861-2565


John Beckner Welcome to Florida! We are the only state that has a current best-selling book based upon its native orchids! Coming soon to a theatre near you will be the movie version, now in production under a major director. Florida is currently the 4th state in population, having over 15 million. That does not count the 50 million visitors each year. The infrastructure needed to support all these people has devastated the environment. We have perpetual near terminal pollution and water shortages. So we build and build, then build more, then invite more people in. We take a lot of pride in our enormous secret and illegal economy, the outstanding crime rates, and best of all, the truly vicious and strange nature of so many of our crimes. Years ago the state passed severe trespassing laws, the "Moonshiner Protection act", which mean that if you jump a fence to view an orchid, you can go straight to jail - if lucky. Or be shot by the landowner. But some of the best places to see orchids are on military bases, with the warning that I have experienced several events


where 20 mm cannon R bombs close by added excitement. We recently visited a fine nature preserve near the Suwannee that for decades was safe for biodiversity, because the drug dealers blew up the bridges and blocked the roads. North America has a couple of hundred orchid species. Within a 15 km radius at Monteverde, Costa Rica there are well over 400 species. In parts of Ecuador between 200 and 300 species occur in areas of about the same size. Florida has about 110 taxa of orchids, vouchered in herbaria, so about half the continental total. This includes all 30 plus North American (north of Mexico) epiphytic orchids, only one of which extends beyond our boundary. The rules are different here, you need to look up. Of the 110 taxa, several are natural hybrids, all of them terrestrials, with only the fringed Platantheras common. We are the only state or province on the continent with no Cypripedium species proven - but we have a good lead on where one has been seen. There are several orchid species escaped here, and some others occur, undocumented. There are surely more tropical species here, yet to be found, plus a few northern species are close by and can be possibilities. Endemism is nil perhaps, a reflection of the unstable, highly stressed ecology with recent colonization. An analysis of our orchid biogeography is difficult, for several reasons. Somewhat arbitrary decisions are needed. There are 14 species. of north temperate mostly woodland origin. Another l6 species


are pineland and bog orchids of the southeastern coastal plain. These may be a fairly old group, since they tend to be fairly isolated taxonomically. There are 8 species with western-Mexican ranges. But there are 7 species that belong to African groups, with 3 of these species found there., and there are 2 species with anomalous tropical Old World ties. There are about 60 neotropical orchids, clearly derived from the West Indies. Some are widespread, from Mexico to Brazil or even Argentina. In a dry pineland in northernmost Florida is what we call "Species X'. We have not been able to see good flowers and even the genus is unclear. Our orchids are sometimes stable populations, but many occur as metapopulations, coming and going dramatically over a few years. We can easily witness and record this, but we have very little to go on, when we try to determine the causes. There is a lot of hand-waving and pseudoscientific verbiage, but real studies are lacking. Our tropical orchids are overseas disjuncts, colonizing in the unstable way described by the Theory of Island Biogeography. The whole environment is so stressed, so constantly changing in radical ways that many present orchid colonies must be of very recent origin. Yet these stresses can cause slow maturation of plants, or, can pump in such an excess of resources that some plants grow very fast. Wild habitats of orchids represent where they happen to grow. There is little reason to equate the conditions with their optimum needs. Some common terrestrials that are certainly


native are found mostly along roadsides in similar recently made artificial sites. Taxodium or cypress is one of our characteristic trees, dominating a major habitat. It entered the southeastern United States, including northern Florida, about 8,000 to 10,000 years ago, reaching the Lake Placid area about 3,000 years ago. The deep sinkholes in the Fakahatchee prove that the water level was hundreds of feet lower not long ago. The almost total absence of pines or of wetland plants in the peat bog strata that are over 6,000 years old, also show how dramatic the ecological changes have been. A few disasters that have shaped our biodiversity! Ed Petuch has good evidence that the terminal Eocene extinctions, worldwide, are connected to the immense crater that lies 1,000 feet below southern Florida. Chris Barton's studies of the fractal math of hurricanes shows that a Mach One will hit about every million years. That means a 1,000 foot high storm surge off the Atlantic sweeps across to the Gulf. Every 100,000 years we can expect storms with winds of submach, but still jet plane velocities. We have lots of local tornadoes every year. Forest fires are of general occurrence. The nearest we have to an endemic orchid, Calopogon multiflorus, is strongly adapted to fire. Last year, Flagler County had a total evacuation due to fires. The rules are different here. We grow most of our garden vegetables and flowering annuals in the winter. Our thunderheads are twice as high as clouds elsewhere. We have more lightning than anywhere else on the planet. On a clear summer day the sun's light is


as intense as in the Sahara. Our soils are very poor in nutrients. We have an ornamental plant industry that is bigger than our Citrus or fishing. Orchids are so popular that we have large nurseries phasing out shrubs and ground covers, so as to concentrate on Phalaenopsis , Dendrobiums, Vandas, Oncidiums. We have more orchid researchers, many of them in just two moderate size cities: Gainesville and Sarasota, than you can find in most countries or continents. We have more orchid judges, orchid shows, and other activities than anywhere. We are the world's exit port to the rest of the solar system. Phalaenopsis were the only ornamentals that would thrive and flower well in space stations. For reasons that I hope you are beginning to see, we have a terrible conservation crisis in Florida. Orchids are useful as indicators of environmental conduits. Some positive steps are being taken in Florida, but a lot more are needed and could be achieved. Unfortunately, not everyone is giving better than lip service. Orchids can be the basis of benefits to the total conservation picture. But, in any case, they have such great interest, so much popularity, that there are many people who want to achieve things with them. Orchids are primarily popular because of the beauty and because of the unusual character of their flowers. Colors, odors, shapes give us beauty. The bilateral symmetry the innate human response to faces.


This appears within hours of birth, and remains a powerful factor throughout our lives-As a child grows, it wishes to handle things Orchids are mostly in the convenient size range for this. The need to explore the adjacent environment, learn how to deal with it, and thus survive, plus the need to gather in and use resources such as food, leads children to become collectors. It speaks volumes about the intellectual poverty of psychologists that they scarcely mention this subject. But such giants of the field as Pavlov and later Humphrey, have written stimulating studies of the collecting obsession. I rather suspect that any gathering of orchid people will include at least a few incurable collecting addicts. I want to stress that this can involve photographs, books, information, nursery bred plants, not just the illegal collecting of native plants. In an increasingly urbanized society, the rat-race drives many people out-of-doors, to exercise, enjoy natural beauty, clear the brain with new experiences. Our economy and society is now nearly worldwide. The coming century will bring us extraordinary benefits, and will sometimes extract a terrible price for them. Exponential growth is not just bodies consuming resources. Ideas are growing, as are many other aspects of our lives. The resulting complexities will grow even more complex. Florida is at the cutting edge of all this. I have seen well-educated basically sound minds from the Third World go into severe culture shock, within hours of coming to Florida. The rules are different here, the stresses can be harsh. Make no mistake - in most parts of the world there are


growing movements to save our biotic heritage, find saner social systems, live happier lives. These battles are NOT lost, are not hopeless. But they are not guaranteed to win, much less win any easy victories. We must act, act intelligently, make the right results happen. Leaving nature alone ensures losses. In the face of widespread pesticides, for example, the orchid pollinators are facing extinction. Metapopulations will vanish, unable to go on, unless the pollinators are abundant. Tropical orchids are extensively cultivated in only a small percent of the species. But the totals are so vast, that an overwhelming range of orchids are in greenhouses. They tend to be the larger flowers and more colorful kinds. The 1% of orchid species that are native to this continent include some beautiful kinds, by anyone's' standards. But they are mostly terrestrials. They are mostly notoriously hard to grow. Metapopulations again. Although it has long been illegal to collect wild orchids in Florida, the epiphytes, often with relatively modest flowers, have been collected throughout the 20th Century. The plants often are short-lived. Well, if you can't grow the orchids of North America, you could take photos. It is legal, it provides an excuse to head out of town on weekends, and it provides great prospects to exercise the Sin of Pride. What fun! It doesn't really accomplish very much, however. With a checklist to mark off, it has much the same character as Audubon Society birding. With sets of pictures to gloat over, it is not very different from stamp or coin collecting. One thing that


does not result is much progress in tough conservation matters. Yes, some good has resulted, but mostly a lot of rationalizations. Meanwhile, the academic world went off on other tangents. Fearful of fighting powerful vested interests, many academics have found safety in deconstructionism, political correctness, faculty politics, computers and ivory tower labs emphasizing esoteric techniques. While government agencies were taking on increasing responsibilities for the environment, nongovermental organizations (NGO's) were battling the interests and rallying a growing popular interest. Much of the academic world retreated into environmental irrelevancy, blocking funds and energies for field biology, demanding students work on which fad is current, and above all, praying that Congress will not succeed in its growing mood of choking off all research unless it serves either immediate military or industrial needs. We do not know what pollinates most of our orchids. We don't know much about the life-cycles of the pollinators. We know far to little about mycorrhizae, although Larry Zettler and a few other lonely souls are doing what they can. We can't even keep Polyrhiza seedlings alive very long in a greenhouse, once they are cyeflasked. We don't know why. Why have some once common orchids all but disappeared? No one knows, few are trying to find out. Anyone who knows anything about systems knows that the various rates of activity are crucial. And that priorities must be set accordingly.


Is this being done? Not much. If it can't be refuted, at least in theory, it isn't science. If it contribute to better understanding, it really isn't science. To know what little we do know about any of our orchids, we have to look at everything recorded under all of its names, not just the one that is correct under the current code. To know anything about it, we have b look at all of the closely allied taxa. So how much does nomenclatural tidying up matter? How much do arguments about what is a species or genus (mystical fantasies left over from Aristotle) matter? How much does it really matter just where we set the boundaries of taxa? People babble that we will just put it all on a computer. We have been looking at the cost of that. Millions of dollars and many years of work. Both the National Science Foundation and American Orchid Society have rejected paying for such. Conservation is urgent. What will come in 20 years will be too late. I am speaking of Florida, but obviously matters are equally urgent elsewhere. I became interested in orchids through growing a couple of plants while in grade school. My first real job was after high school hours plus weekends in an orchid nursery. While in school, I read Julian Huxley's Evolution: The Modern Synthesis and Ledyard Stebbins' Variation and Evolution in Plants. I knew very little about orchids, but I could see that something was wrong. Facts about orchids did not always line up with the evolutionary ideas stated in these books. I decided to find out why. Half a century later, i see even more conflicts between biological theories and orchid realities. But I still haven't figured out all the


reasons. Douglas Gill's points about deception flowers, for example, raise major issues. I studied Botany, worked in nurseries, did plant indentification's, taught classes, did landscaping, became an AOS judge, did various things, and kept looking at orchids, in Florida, and elsewhere. The growing conservation crisis led the AOS, in 1989, to urge each of its affiliates to set up a conservation committee. The well known murder writer Karen Wilson was then the President of the Florida West Coast Orchid Society and did dreadful things to push into heading such a group. I told her to kill people, using a certain orchid. In Circle of Wolves she wiped out most of the retirees in the St. Petersburg area, using this. Do NOT ask for details, which are based on a scientific paper. Anyway, we became The Orchid Conservation Committee, a notfor-profit corporation, and have achieved a great deal for a small group. It can be done. Meanwhile I became Curator of the Orchid Identification Center files at the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. We have now become a major center for pulling together the immensities of orchid knowledge. We have major projects on several continents and are more and more turned to, even by larger institutions, for various kinds of help. This is Florida and the rules are different here. Along with quite an interesting group of friends, I am out doing things that will matter as time goes by. We are studying orchid populations, ecologies, working with other organizations all over Florida and far beyond. We meet at 6 AM, drive long distances, dodge snakes,


wasps, and alligators, fall in holes while wading, and collapse in bed at 10 PM after a hot shower. We're having more fun than anybody else. We are making some things happen. The rules are different here, because we are rewriting them, to do what we think needs doing. This is Florida. Welcome to one of the most dangerous, troubled place, where needs are urgent. John Beckner, John was the keynote speaker for the 4th Annual North American Native Orchid Conference in Tampa, Florida on April 10 & 11, 1999.


CLASSIFICATION, THEORY AND PRACTICE Robert L. Dressler Classification must be one of the oldest human activities. One imagines that the early cave-dwellers managed to communicate ideas such as "that fruit is good," "that animal bites," or "that snake is poisonous." Even today, the few remaining "primitive" cultures that live in close contact with nature are able to communicate very effectively about the flora and fauna of their area, and especially about those species that they use in any way. In Papua New Guinea, tribesmen name most of the same bird species that ornithologists recognize, though they may sometimes "lump" under one name a pair of small, insignificant birds that are of little interest as food, even though the better woodsmen know that they are really different kinds. There may be many kinds of classification. Writers of field guides may group plants according to their flower color. A landscape architect might class plants according to their size and the texture of their foliage. Each of these is a special-purpose classification that might be quite useless for a different purpose. I will discuss primarily the phylogenetic classification that biologists favor, and I will try to convince you that such a classification has many advantages as a generalpurpose system.


One of the first attempts to offer a written system of classification was that of Aristotle. The Greek philosophers were not fond of going into the field and getting their sandals dirty. For them, classification was a mental activity that could be done at home, with a minimum of actual observation. Later works on classification were written to show the goodness of God, who created a world of diversity for the use and convenience of man. Such books said very little about ugly parasites, such as Guinea worms, that surely must have been designed in a different department. Later studies were justified as attempts to understand God's plan. One is reminded of the story of the priests who visited Huxley. One of them asked, "what do your studies tell you about God?" Huxley is said to have replied, "He has an extraordinary fondness for small beetles." Of course, the earlier pre-Darwinian classifications were not avowedly phylogenetic, yet the idea of "natural" groups and "artificial" groups developed among classifiers, ideas that would seem meaningless except with reference to phylogeny. PreDarwinian writers did sometimes hint at something like evolution or phylogeny. Erasmus Darwin, the grandfather of Charles Darwin, was one such writer. Later, Wallace noted that the most similar species did not occur together, nor were they scattered at random; rather they occurred in neighboring areas. It is clear that the time was ripe for the idea of evolution when


Wallace and Darwin presented their idea of natural selection. Though the time was ripe, the idea of natural selection was not well received by the public. Had Darwin or Wallace offered a scheme in which each species consciously fought to ascend the "scale of nature," the idea might have been much more popular. The public felt that "natural selection" was much too mechanical and rather soulless. By now, it is clear that the world has existed for many millions of years, and that there have been enormous changes, changes that would have been quite inconceivable to any biblical prophet. The concept of natural selection has been quite generally accepted by biologists. Interestingly enough, though, the introduction and spread of this concept had little effect on the practice of classification. Systematists continued to work with no particular theory (or many conflicting theories), and the practice continued to be about as intuitive and idiosyncratic as it had been before Darwin and Wallace. Some principals of traditional systematics Before discussing the "revolution" that systematics has experienced in the last few decades, I will present some general ideas that developed through time, some of them still quite valid. First, one must admit that there are good taxonomists, mediocre taxonomists and bad ones (as in all activities, I am sure). It's probably safest not to mention the names of any living taxonomists in this


respect. Perhaps the ideal example for my purpose is F. Kränzlin, who died years ago. He published a revision of the genus Telipogon, a group that is very distinctive and easy to recognize. Yet, in that revision, he published, as a Telipogon, a species that is now recognized as a Dimerandra. How this could happen, I am not sure. On another occasion he published Macradenia mexicana. The flowers on which he based that name were actually a species of Cranichis. A list of Kränzlin's "misfiring in generic target practice" is given by Garay & Romero-González (1998). We have had great problems with the genus Oncidium, and many of these problems are due to a revision published by Kränzlin. Kränzlin cited Oncidium ornithorrhynchum from Costa Rica, and the species may well occur in Costa Rica, though I have seen no material collected in the wild. The Costa Rican specimen that Kränzlin labelled as O. ornithorrhynchum is actually what we are used to calling O. obryzatum. Unfortunately, Reichenbach, who described O. obryzatum, had earlier described the same species as O. klotzschianum. I much prefer O. obryzatum, but according to the rules of nomenclature, we must use O. klotzschianum. The point here is that many of the name changes that so enrage gardeners and orchidists, are simply not our fault. They are due to sloppy work done in the past. Defined classes The early philosophers felt that classes were defined groups. Indeed, some feel that the biological entities we "classify" are not classes at all. Certainly


biological groups are exceedingly difficult to define, with variation, mutation and developmental quirks all working to falsify any clear definition. One of the Greek philosophers defined man as a featherless biped, then another brought in a plucked chicken and said "this is man." Philosophical types The Greek philosophers felt that each class is represented by an idealized "type," with the actual members of the class approaching the type in greater or lesser degree. One assumes that the idealized "type" of dog is somehow more noble and doglike than any ordinary cur. This idea has little relevance to modern biology, but some of the ideas of "typology" persist and are hard to eradicate. When biologists decided to select a single specimen as the "name-bearing specimen" for each species, the word "type" was, unfortunately, chosen, thus leading to confusion between "name-bearing specimen" and the philosophical "Typus." The type specimen is a sort of nomenclatural landmark. There is no reason for it to be in any way "typical" of the species, and it may be quite atypical, often simply the first specimen recognized as being a distinct species. In practice, species should be delimited on the basis of all available material. Once one has delimited the species of a given group, the type specimens should be consulted to determine the correct names for the species.


Single feature classification If we can identify a species or a genus by a single feature, that feature is emphasized as a key character, but neither species nor genera should be based on single, isolated features. To do so is almost a guarantee of an artifical classification. One of the most obviously artificial classifications is the separation of Laelia and Cattleya on the number of pollinia. The Mexican Laelias (the true Laelias, as they include the type species of the genus) are not very closely allied either to the Brazilian Laelias or to the Cattleyas, while Laelia section Cattleyodes is very closely allied to Cattleya. The species are similar in both plant and flower, and natural "intergeneric" hybrids occur wherever the two "genera" grow together. Unfortunately, the horticultural world is accustomed to using Laelia for the L. purpurata complex, and will resist any attempt to improve the classification. While some plants may be identified by using single features, the classification should be based on the correlation of as many features as possible. Fundamental features Early systematists wasted a good deal of time and paper over the issue of fundamental features. Supposedly, some features are fundamental and can always be given great weight in classification, while others have minor importance. Unfortunately, the feature that seems quite "fundamental" in one group may vary within species of another group. About all


that one can say is that good features are those that work - when they do work. Parallelism and convergence These patterns are of great interest in biology. Some recent authors have defined these terms quite exactly but in a rather trivial way. I try to keep something close to the traditional meaning, which does deserve recognition and discussion. I use parallelism for the independent evolution of a similar feature in two different groups. When the two groups are only distantly related, the pattern is usually quite obvious. I use convergence to indicate those cases where ecological factors have led to parallelism in several different features, so that the independent groups may be quite similar in some features. The superficial resemblances between some American cacti and some African Euphorbias are a good case of convergence in vegetative features. We often find convergence between different plant groups that are pollinated by the same class of agents. Moth-pollinated flowers tend to be white or pale green, fragrant at night and often have long, slender spurs. Fly-pollinated flowers tend to have dark, lurid colors and (to our senses) very disagreeable perfumes. Bird-pollinated flowers tend to lack perfume and have bright pink, orange or red colors, thick texture, tubular form, and, in orchids, structure that guides the bird's beak near the rostellum. Again, convergence in distantly related groups is easily recognized as such, but convergence in closely related groups may lead to an artificial classification.


Primates, like birds, perceive the bright colors of bird-pollinated flowers, and this syndrome seems to deceive us more often than others. The genus Hexisea, as represented by the very similar H. bidentata and H. imbricata, is vegetatively very similar to Scaphyglottis but shows the classic hummingbird-pollination syndrome. Hexisea has been delimited in various ways. Some authors include all Scaphyglottis-like plants with "sigmoid" lip and column foot, which makes a very heterogeneous group, indeed. I earlier tried to restrict Hexisea to the Scaphyglottis-like plants with orange or red flowers, but even this is surely an artificial group. The floral details of Scaphyglottis sigmoidea and S. arctata are quite different from those of H. bidentata, as are their vegetative features. It is probable that Hexisea, by whatever delimitation, is simply an artifical grouping of Scaphyglottis species that are pollinated by hummingbirds or have well-developed nectaries at the base of the flower. Angraecum is a group of primarily African mothpollinated orchids in the Vandeae. "Angraecum" philipinensis was assigned to this group, but is now treated as Amesiella philipinensis, a member of the primarily Asiatic Aeridinae. Similarly, "Angraecum" falcatum from Japan is now Neofinetia falcata. In each case, the Asiatic plant crosses more easily with other Asiatic plants than with Angraecum, and has the same chromosome number as the other Asiatic plants.


Monophyletic and polyphyletic These two concepts are critical in biological classification. A "natural," or monophyletic group is one that is derived from a single common ancestor (a species, that is) and, in modern usage, includes all descendents of that common ancestor. An "artificial" or polyphyletic group is one that is derived from two (or more) ancestral species. The genus Angraecum, then, is polyphyletic if it includes either A. falcatum or A. philippinense. The term "clade" is now commonly used for a monophyletic group, the term may be used for any size group, from species to family or order. The contrasting term, "grade" refers to a "group" whose members are similar in some feature or features but is not monophyletic. The term "cladistics" is now used for phylogenetic analysis, and its practitioners are known as "cladists." The traditional orchid classifications remind me of the old story of the elephant and the blind men. Each blind man touches a different part of the elephant and confidently asserts that the elephant is very like a snake, a fan, a tree, a wall or a rope, depending on the part of the elephant's anatomy he touches. Lindley used the pollinia as the main basis for his orchid classification. Pollinia are certainly important in classification, but there is some parallellism, and the exagerated use of number, alone, has led to artificial classifications, as in Laelia, Brachionidium, Broughtonia, and other genera. Pfitzer argued that some specimens


lacked pollinia, and preferred to use leaf vernation as the main basis of his classification. Still a great many specimens lack developing leaves, and I have seen a single plant of Zygopetalum with conduplicate vernation on one shoot and convolute vernation on another. Clearly, this is another important feature, but neither of these features is, by itself, sufficient basis for a system of orchid classification. The modern revolutioon There has been something of a revolution in systematic biology during the last half century, though it has been a chaotic and disorderly process. This has resulted primarily from the efforts of Willi Hennig, a German biologist who published from about 1935 until 1962. Hennig did most of his work in entomology, and it is clear that he wished to develop a theory or a method of classification. He worked largely in isolation from other biologists and he had an opaque, difficult style of writing. Hennig's major work has been translated to both English and Spanish, but the Spanish edition, published in Argentina, is a much better translation. It is by no means light reading, bot the arguments can be followed. Hennig also delighted in inventing complex new terms. Unfortunately, many of his early followers had much the same style. There was much heated disagreement between Hennig's followers and traditional systematists, often quite futile discussion in which each side used the same terms with quite different meanings.


Hennig's greatest contribution was perhaps the idea that one can determine phylogeny by the analysis of living species. The most closely allied species will share most of their features, while more distantly allied species will share fewer features. Hennig offered several principals, some of which seem rather obvious in retrospect. 1. The common ancestors of living species are not now living. 2. Living groups are not derived from other living groups, but from common ancestors. 3. Primitive (ancestral) features are of little value in analysis. Primitive features may indicate something of a group's ancestry, but they are not dependable in determining relationships within the group. For this purpose, only derived features are useful. This somewhat counterintuitive idea may be clarified by figure 1. Primitive and derived are clearly relative terms, and the "polarity" of different character states is clearly critical in phylogenetic analysis. Various ways have been suggested for determining this polarity, but the only technique that has survived critical consideration is "outgroup comparison." Ideally, one compares the study group with its sister group, or with several possible sister groups (since the sister group may not be known until after the analysis). If, as in figure 2, one character state is found in all (or most) of the possible sister groups, this state is the probable primitive condition, with different derived states in each group.


4. Speciation is thought to be dichotomous. That is, when speciation occurs, the ancestral species disappears and is replaced by two daughter species. This idea probably met with greater opposition from traditional systematists than any other aspect of Hennig's ideas. It must be emphasized, though, that this is not a theory of speciation, but an assumption that makes analysis and the drawing of diagrams much easier. In a study near the species level with widespread and long-lived species and many peripheral derivatives, the rigid assumption of dichotomy might distort biological reality, but at generic and higher levels, this may not be a problem. 5. Two groups that share a common ancestor should form a single group, though it may have subgroups. Thus, common ancestors are included in the groups derived from them. In the analysis of extant groups, this usually means that quite hypothetical ancestral species are included in the groups derived from them. Nonetheless, this principal may have quite practical applications. For years paleontologists tried to draw the line between the "mammal-like reptiles" and the mammals, but the mammals appeared to be polyphyletic by every definition. Now we realize that the "mammallike reptiles" might better be considered "reptile-like mammals," and both groups are easily distinguished back to their origins. 5. Parsimony - Hennig said little about parsimony, simply accepting it as a basic, scientific principal. Later cladists have emphasized parsimony as an essential part of phylogenetic analysis.


It is clear that cladists try to construct a hierarchical system of classification that reflects phylogeny as closely as possible. For small groups, one may do analysis with pencil and paper, but this becomes very difficult with large groups and large suites of features. Fortunately, several computer programs are available to analyse the data. In the early days of heated discussion between cladists and traditional taxonomists, the traditional taxonomists were accused of being subjective and quite unscientific (sometimes quite justifiably). Amusingly enough, the computer programs designed for cladistic analysis all include some method for adjusting the results if the researcher feels this necessary. Conclusion I have tried to give you a summary of the changes that we have seen in the ideas and practice of classification during my lifetime. Some feel that plants have all been classified, and there is no need to waste time with classification in this day and age. Those of us who go out and look at plants and try to identify them realize how wrong this idea is. There are still many plants that have not been classified, and many of the classifications done in the last two centuries desperately need to be redone with modern ideas and techniques. I have mentioned the superiority of phylogenetic classifications. These are the only classifications that can give us more information than we put into them. That is, if the most of the features sampled support a classification, then we may expect most of the unsampled features to agree with the classification. If


we find a cancer cure in a rare herb, the best place to look for another source of the substance is in other species of the same genus - if we are using a phylogenetic classification.
Literature Cited Garay, L. A., & G. A. Romero-González. 1988. Orchidum. Harvard Pap. Bot. 3: 53-62. Schedulae

Robert L. Dressler, 21305 NW 86th Avenue, Micanopy, Florida 32667 Dr. Dressler is one of the leading orchidists in the world today and has authored enumerable papers as well as several books including the Orchids of Costa Rica and


Legends Figure 1. The phylogeny of a hypothetical group in which the primitive state of a given feature is represented as 0. Four other states have evolved independently within the group. Any one of the derived states may be taken as evidence of close relationships, but the persistence of the primitive state is not evidence of close relationship.


Figure 2. Outgroup comparison. In three hypothetical closely related groups, the state "A" of a given feature is found in each group, while another, different state (or states) of the feature is found in each group. One would conclude that "A" is the ancestral state for the feature in question.


LOOKING FORWARD DECEMBER 1999 Orchids of the Pine Barrens of New Jersey Facts and tips for Cypripedium acaule White Fairy-slippers in Alberta A History of the Fakahatchee Strand Habenaria quinqueseta and Habenaria macroceratitis and more!!!!!!





Lawrence W. Zettler

The use of mycorrhizal fungi to germinate orchid seed (=symbiotic seed germination) has received growing interest in North America this decade (Zettler, 1996). Although some species have been successfully propagated in this manner (e.g., Platanthera integrilabia, Spiranthes magnicamporum), the vast majority of our native orchids - common and rare alike - continue to persist without reliable culture methods. For conservation purposes, the establishment of artificially-grown, fungus-infected seedlings into suitable habitats is desirable for long-term orchid survival (Zettler, 1997). This paper will briefly discuss the ongoing efforts directed at using fungi to propagate three terrestrial orchids (Platanthera integra, P. leucophaea, Spiranthes ovalis var. erostellata) and one epiphyte (Encyclia tampensis) from seed.

Platanthera integra (Nuttall) Gray ex Beck


The yellow fringeless-orchid, Platanthera integra, is listed as threatened in North Carolina, and is in decline in South Carolina (R. Porcher, The Citadel, pers. com.). Along the southeastern coastal plain, the species inhabits wet meadows and pinelands (Luer, 1975) where it is vulnerable to habitat destruction and collectors (Fig. 1). In 1995, I had the opportunity to collect seed and root samples of P. integra from North Carolina’s Green Swamp, after receiving permission from The Nature Conservancy. The root-like organs of the species yielded a fungus that appeared to belong to the anamorphic genus Epulorhiza (Moore, 1987) -- a genus frequently isolated from southeastern orchids (Currah, Zettler and McInnis, 1997). Seeds were obtained from yellowing, mature capsules, dried over desiccant and stored in darkness at -7 C. Twenty-eight months following their collection, seeds were inoculated with the P. integra fungus by two of my students, Jennifer Sunley and Tonya Wilson Delaney. To determine if P. integra was capable of utilizing a broad range of fungal isolates to initiate seed germination, they also inoculated seeds with a fungus from the orange fringed orchid, P. ciliaris (L.) Lindley, and a third fungus from the monkeyface orchid, P. integrilabia (Correll) Luer, both from Tennessee. Interestingly, all fungi initiated seed germination within 42 days, but only the P. integrilabiaderived fungus promoted seedling development to a leaf-bearing stage (Zettler, Sunley and Delaney, 1999). Whether the P. integra fungus is capable of sustaining seedlings at the Green Swamp to a leaf-bearing stage and beyond is not known; however, the study does illustrate a need to recover a wider range of fungi from


unrelated orchid taxa from distant regions for conservation purposes.

Platanthera leucophaea (Nuttall) Lindley
A native orchid in serious need of propagation is the eastern prairie fringed-orchid, Platanthera leucophaea (Fig. 2). Historical records indicate the species has declined 70% across the United States as a result of habitat conversion to agriculture (Bowles, 1999), and habitat destruction poses the greatest threat to the remaining populations (M. L. Bowles, The Morton Arboretum, pers. com.). Unfortunately, most of the remaining populations contain fewer than 50 plants, and very few have more than 100 (Bowles, 1999) leading some to fear that inbreeding depression is accelerating P. leucophaea’s decline. Compounding matters, many of the remaining populations are threatened by woody plant succession through improper site management, overcollecting, and draining of adjacent wetlands (Bowles, 1999). In 1996, I was contacted by Marlin Bowles and Karel Jacobs of The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois, to conduct an intensive, collaborative effort to propagate P. leucophaea from seed. Upon close examination, few of P. leucophaea’s seeds appear to contain viable embryos. From one population, for example, between 17-25% of the seeds contained seemingly-viable embryos. This number is considerably low when compared to seeds of some southeastern Platanthera species, including the threatened monkey-


face orchid, P. integrilabia. Because of this precarious situation, our efforts are currently directed at obtaining seed from substantially larger populations where cross pollinations between unrelated individuals are more likely. Indeed, preliminary findings suggest that embryo viability from one such population may exceed 50%, and efforts are underway to germinate this seed with fungi. Although this finding seems promising, our data from previous experiments suggest that P. leucophaea embryos must overcome one or more dormancy mechanisms. Recently, my student, Scott L. Stewart, succeeded in germinating seeds after soaking the seeds for prolonged (>1 hr) periods in a dilute solution of household bleach; however, seed germination percentages were low. We will soon investigate whether seed germination percentages can be increased by cold/moist-stratification prior to sowing, as indicated by preliminary germination studies (Bowles et al. 1998). Additionally, we will determine if a white light pretreatment can be used to increase germination percentages as observed for P. integrilabia (Zettler and McInnis, 1994). An attempt will also be made to isolate fungi from P. leucophaea seedlings that germinate in the natural habitat using retrievable seed packets described by Rasmussen and Whigham (1993). Thus far, mature P. leucophaea plants from populations in Illinois and Michigan have yielded fungal isolates tentatively identified as a species of Ceratorhiza, possibly C. goodyera-repentis (Moore, 1987). Compared to strains of Epulorhiza, our Ceratorhiza isolates often overgrow orchid seedlings in vitro, forming dense masses of fungal mycelium that may or may not prove detrimental to


seedling development. We remain optimistic that P. leucophaea seedlings with a mycotrophic capability will one day be reintroduced into suitable habitats throughout the Midwest.

Spiranthes ovalis Lindley var. erostellata Catling
The northern oval ladies’-tresses, Spiranthes ovalis var. erostellata, is an easily overlooked terrestrial orchid that inhabits rich, damp forests in shaded humus (Luer, 1975). In central Illinois, the species can be found in fragmented, large patches of forest between agricultural fields, but it is seldom seen, even in flower. After months of searching, my students and I located a single S. ovalis var. erostellata flowering specimen growing adjacent to a rotting log in woods just west of Illinois College. Upon returning to the site in the fall, all flowers on the inflorescence had developed capsules, and we presumed that the flowers were self-pollinated. One student, Melissa Brooks, decided to attempt seed germination, and she proceeded to obtain a root sample for fungal isolations. The roots yielded an unusual fungus that resembled some strains of Ceratorhiza, but the fungus remains unidentified. Over 1,000 seeds were collected from the capsules, and were inoculated with the fungus in vitro following cold storage. After 160 days of incubation in darkness, most (>80%) of the seeds failed to germinate; however, one of the germinated seeds grew to a substantial size and


initiated leaves, suggesting that the fungus was mycorrhizal with the orchid. Currently, an effort is underway by University of Illinois - Springfield graduate student, Andrew Munkacsi, to identify the fungus using electron microscopy. Additional experiments await our attention, assuming more plants can be located.

Encyclia tampensis (Lindley) Small
Few studies have been directed at germinating seeds of epiphytic orchids using fungi because of the relative ease by which these plants can be propagated on nutrient media lacking fungi. Nevertheless, all orchids epiphytes and terrestrials alike - require fungi in nature to sustain their life cycles, and this fact alone justifies the use of fungi to grow epiphytic orchids for conservation purposes. Consequently, two of my students, Juliette Burkhead and Jillian Marshall, attempted to germinate seeds of the commerciallyexploited Florida butterfly orchid, Encyclia tampensis, using a fungus (Epulorhiza spp.) from the green-fly orchid, Epidendrum conopseum R. Brown. The fungus was chosen because of its ability to promote seed germination and advanced seedling development of E. conopseum in vitro (Zettler, Delaney and Sunley, 1998). Seed germination of E. tampensis commenced within 21 days after fungal inoculation, and germination percentages were high (>99%). After 13 weeks of incubation, about 2% of the seedlings initiated leaves, and these seedlings harbored pelotons - fungal structures indicative of an established symbiosis between orchid and fungus (Zettler, Burkhead and


Marshall, 1999). Curiously, most of the leaf-bearing seedlings originated from well-spaced seeds within the Petri dishes. We suspected that the seedlings depleted the limited fungus/carbohydrate supply thereby limiting their development. To test this hypothesis, another experiment was carried out by Jillian Marshall and Oliver Reid to determine if seedling development could be enhanced by reducing the number of seeds sown per dish. Indeed, only 7% of the inoculated seedlings developed leaves at a high density (200+ seeds per dish) compared to 74% at a low density (1-10 per dish) (Marshall, Reid and Zettler, 1999). Based on these results, epiphytic orchids like E. tampensis may be candidates for symbiotic techniques, further enhancing orchid conservation. Conclusion The survival of our native orchids in nature will ultimately depend on the ability of established plants to spawn seedlings, but this will only result if mycorrhizal fungi are available for seed germination. As orchid habitats continue to be destroyed by humans, the possibility exists that certain types of mycorrhizal fungi needed by orchids will be lost unless they too are preserved and utilized in conservation (e.g., symbiotic seed germination). Currently, the most effective means to obtain fungi is to extract them from living orchid tissues, preferably seedlings, but this prospect diminishes as orchid numbers continue to decline (Rasmussen, 1995). Therefore, every attempt


should be made to preserve orchids and their native habitats in order to safeguard mycorrhizal fungi for use in conservation. Although this paper illustrates progress being made to propagate four orchid species using fungi, the vast majority of North American native orchids await attention. Acknowledgments I kindly thank Scott L. Stewart (The Illinois College) for his helpful critique of this manuscript, and Paul Martin Brown (Ocala, Florida) for the opportunity to present this paper at the 4th Annual North American Native Orchid Conference in Tampa. Literature Cited Bowles, M. L. 1999. Eastern prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera leucophaea) Federal recovery plan.Dept. of the Interior, U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Bowles, M. L., K. Jacobs, L. W. Zettler, and T. Wilson Delaney. 1998. Seed germination of the federal threatened eastern prairie fringed orchid [Platanthera leucophaea (Nutt.) Lindl.]. Illinois Dept. Natural Resources report. Currah, R. S., L. W. Zettler, and T. M. McInnis, Jr. 1997. Epulorhiza inquilina sp. nov. from Platanthera (Orchidaceae) and a key to Epulorhiza species. Mycotaxon 61: 335-342.


Luer, C. A. 1975. The Native Orchids of the United States and Canada, Excluding Florida. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. Marshall, J. A., O. B. Reid, and L. W. Zettler. 1999. A beneficial effect of low seed density on the development of Encyclia tampensis (Orchidaceae): First demonstration for an epiphytic orchid. Assoc. Southeastern Biol. Bull. 46(2): 197 (abstract). Moore, R. T. 1987. The genera of Rhizoctonia-like fungi: Ascorhizoctonia, Ceratorhiza gen. nov., Epulorhiza gen. nov., Moniliopsis and Rhizoctonia. Mycotaxon 29: 29-91. Rasmussen, H. N. 1995. Terrestrial Orchids: From Seed to Mycotrophic Plant. Cambridge Univ. Press. Cambridge, UK. Rasmussen, H. N. and D. F. Whigham. 1993. Seed ecology of dust seeds in situ: A new study technique and its application in terrestrial orchids. Am. J. Bot. 80: 1374-1378. Zettler, L. W. 1996. Symbiotic seed germination of terrestrial orchids in North America since 1990 a progress report. In: C. Allen [ed.], Proceedings of the North American Native Orchid Terrestrial Orchid Propagation and Production Conference, pp. 43-53. National Arboretum, Washington, D.C., USA.


Zettler, L. W. 1997. Orchid-fungal symbiosis and its value in conservation. McIlvainea 13(1): 40-45. Zettler, L. W., J. C. Burkhead, and J. A. Marshall. 1999. Use of a mycorrhizal fungus from Epidendrum conopseum to germinate seeds of Encyclia tampensis in vitro. Lindleyana (in press). Zettler, L. W., T. Wilson Delaney, and J. A. Sunley. 1998. Seed propagation of the epiphytic greenfly orchid, Epidendrum conopseum, using its endophytic fungus. Selbyana 19(2): 249-253. Zettler, L. W. and T. M. McInnis, Jr. 1994. Light enhancement of symbiotic seed germination and development of an endangered terrestrial orchid (Platanthera integrilabia). Plant Science 102: 133-138. Zettler, L. W., J. A. Sunley, and T. Wilson Delaney. 1999. Symbiotic micropropagation of the yellow fringeless-orchid, Platanthera integra, from the Green Swamp, North Carolina. Assoc. Southeastern Biol. Bull. 46(2): 258 (abstract).

Lawrence W. Zettler, Ph.D., Department of Biology, The Illinois College, 1101 West College Avenue, Jacksonville, Illinois 62650-2299 USA. Dr. Zettler teaches botany and ecology at The Illinois College and directs undergraduate student research in collaboration with


The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL where he serves as a Research Associate. E-mail:

Fig. 1. The attractive inflorescences of our native orchids like Platanthera integra’s render these plants easy targets for collectors, despite the fact that many are protected by law and rarely survive transplantation. Photo courtesy of Paul Martin Brown. Fig. 2. Inflorescences of the eastern prairie fringed orchid, Platanthera leucophaea --a species threatened with extinction. Most of the remaining populations contain fewer than 50 plants. Photo courtesy of Marlin L. Bowles.







Roger L. Hammer My interests in the native orchids of southern Florida began when Carlyle Luer’s monumental work, The Native Orchids of Florida, was published in 1972. It has taken me over twenty years to track down and photograph 79 species of orchids in Florida, including two species new to the flora of North America. This orchid journey has taken me from the mysterious Okeefenokee Swamp that straddles the Florida-Georgia border to Big Pine Key in the lower Florida Keys. Much of my time, however, was concentrated in Collier County’s Fakahatchee Swamp, where 46 of Florida’s native orchids occur. Each trip took me deeper into the swamp until finally in 1975 I decided to walk the swamp’s entire 18-mile length, sleeping in a jungle hammock suspended above the swamp water. Five days later I struggled up onto the road shoulder of Interstate 75 and had to hitchhike back to my Volkswagen van parked along W. J. Janes Memorial Scenic Drive that bisects a portion of the swamp. After wading in a swamp for five days, offers of rides were not soon coming and I couldn’t be choosy when a truck full of chickens heading for Everglades City stopped to


pick me up. I sat on the back of the truck with cages full of white, squawking chickens and when the driver dropped me off at the entrance to Janes Drive, I walked the five miles back to my van, sipping rum and reminiscing about the thirty species of orchids that I had seen over the previous five days. My talk and slide presentation on the native orchids of southern Florida for the North American Native Orchid Alliance Conference will cover many of the native and naturalized orchids found in the southern half of the state. Three birds orchid, Triphora trianthophora, occurs from lower central Florida northward. While not truly a 'South Florida' species, it is included here on the basis that this conference is being held at the University of South Florida, which technically lies in central Florida and within the range of this orchid. Triphora trianthophora can be quite common in the rich, moist humus of hardwood forests where it grows as a saprophyte in association with a fungus. Look for it around the springs of central and north Florida. A close relative, least-flowered triphora, Triphora gentianoides, is much different in its habitat preferences. It occurs most commonly as a colonial weed in the cultivated yards in the Kendall-South Miami area of Miami-Dade County. It is spreading in Florida, however, perhaps in sod, and has been recently found in southwest Florida. The common grass-pink, Calopogon tuberosus, is a common species throughout the eastern U.S. Flowers


range from deep rose-pink, to pale pink, to white, and in the Everglades its flowers can be easily seen protruding above prairie grasses in March and April. The plants seen in southern Florida are much larger than those found farther north and have been referred to as variety simpsonii by some authors. Oblong-leaved vanilla, Vanilla phaeantha is a vining species that has a tendency to send zigzagging stems high up trees in the Fakahatchee Swamp. It appears to be restricted to Collier County in Florida but is also found throughout the West Indies. Large, green flowers are produced in May, June, and July. It’s much more familiar relative, common vanilla, V. mexicana, more widely known as V. planifolia, is naturalized in southern Florida but is believed to have been introduced during pre-Columbian times. This is the vanilla of commerce and it is found as a wild plant in Florida in Miami-Dade and Collier counties. Green, ephemeral flowers occur in April and May in Florida. Yet another species, the worm-vine, V. barbellata, is one of our showiest native orchids. The plant itself is nothing more than stout, fleshy, green or orange, leafless stems, that twine around amongst shrubs in coastal mangrove-buttonwood associations. In June and July, large, very fragrant flowers appear. The flowers sport green sepals and petals with a white lip fringed with rosy-red. As showy as the blossoms are, few people have had the pleasure of marveling at their beauty because they appear at the height of mosquito season. If you have ever been in the coastal mangroves of southern Florida in June and July then you will know


that in order to talk to someone, you have to throw a rock through the mosquitoes and yell through the hole! Mrs. Britton’s shadow witch, Ponthieva brittoniae, easily ranks as one of our rarest native orchids. I first had the pleasure of finding a small colony of flowering plants on Long Pine Key in Everglades National Park in 1979. Then I had the profound pleasure of showing the plants to Dr. Donovan Correll, who authored the cherished book, The Native Orchids of North America in 1950. Dr. Correll had never seen this species in the wild and referred to it as P. racemosa var. brittonae. He later agreed that it deserved species status. I also was able to show the flowering plants to two other botanist friends, George Avery and Chuck McCartney, and since then Dr. Correll and George Avery have passed away. Chuck McCartney and I, however, have made almost yearly excursions into the same area in hope of finding the species again but all to no avail. The original colony was lost to a road grader that slightly widened the road right where the orchids occurred, wiped out in a national park by heavy equipment. It is not known if this plant still occurs in Florida but a recent find in central Florida may well prove to be this elusive species. A real harbinger of spring in southern Florida is the spring ladies’-tresses, Spiranthes vernalis, which flowers as early as February and usually disappears sometime in April. It is exceptionally common along mowed road swales and in open prairies of the Everglades. It is replaced in the same habitat by the lace-lipped ladies'-tresses, S. laciniata, in June and


July. Both species are wide-ranging throughout Florida and their white, usually spiraling, flowers held on frail green stems can even be seen from your automobile while travelling along roads—even Florida’s Turnpike. A much rarer species, the southern ladies'-tresses, S. torta, makes its appearance in June in Miami-Dade County, and is currently known from just a few locations, including Long Pine Key in Everglades National Park and in the Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key. The fragrant ladies'-tresses, Spiranthes odorata, is another white-flowered species, and it prefers wet soils, often sending its spikes of fragrant flowers right up out of standing water. It is generally a fall-flowering species in the Everglades. Deep in the shady understory of tropical hardwood forests of Miami-Dade County are occasional populations of the speckled ladies'-tresses, Cyclopogon cranichoides. This species flowers in March, and the insignificant greenish-brown flowers are difficult to find in the dappled light of the forest. The rosette of glistening leaves make up for what the flowers lack in beauty, but if the flowers are viewed through a handlens, as Dr. Luer suggests, they are indeed quite attractive. Paul Martin Brown reports finding this plant as far north as Ocala in Florida (and formerly in Alachua County). The tall neottia, Cyclopogon elatus eluded me for a number of years until a botanist friend, George Gann, found a few plants in a secluded hardwood forest in southern Miami-Dade County in 1975. One plant flowered to confirm its identity and the species has not been seen there, or anywhere else in


Florida for that matter, since. Prior to Hurricane Andrew in 1992 a few suspicious plants were found in a hammock within Everglades National Park but I have not been able to relocate them since the storm. The plants looked like they likely could have been C. elatus. The scarlet ladies'-tresses, Sacoila lanceolata var. lanceolata is not at all shy. Husky spikes topped with orange-red flowers adorn Florida’s roadsides from April into July each year, and large colonies can even be found along Florida’s Turnpike. Simply driving along roadways through Hendry County in May will usually be rewarded by a view of this striking orchid. Occasional green-flowered plants can also be seen, although there is some debate regarding the taxonomy of the greenflowered form. Luer treated it as a separate variety, and referred to it as Spiranthes lanceolata var. luteoalba and currently it is known as forma albidaviridis.. Others feel it may be a distinct species, although it is always found in or around typical red-flowered plants. The orangered and green-flowered plants are both leafless during anthesis, but deep in the Fakahatchee Swamp is a dark red-flowered variety that retains its leaves during anthesis. It is currently referred to as Sacoila lanceolata var. paludicola. It’s natural historic range is the Fakahatchee Swamp in Collier County and is regarded as our only Florida endemic orchid. But orchid aficionados have introduced it to both Miami-Dade and Broward counties where populations still exist today. One may never think to look for flowering orchids during winter but a real show stopper blooms


through Christmas and New Year in southern Florida each year. The spurred neottia, Eltroplectris calcarata, seems to be restricted to Miami-Dade County, although it had been previously known from Highlands County as well. The Highlands Hammock population is believed to have been extirpated by wild pigs. Wild pigs are a distinct threat throughout Florida to wild terrestrial orchid populations. Eltroplectris calcarata is an attractive species with snow-white flowers that resemble birds in flight. One of the first non-native species to show up in Florida abetted by man is the lawn orchid, Zeuxine strateumatica. This Asian species reputedly arrived in centipede grass seed shipped from China in the early 1930s. It was first reported from Indian River County in 1936 and, from that date, spread rapidly throughout Florida, often appearing as a weed in lawns, flower pots, and greenhouses. The tightly-clustered white flowers are produced principally in December and January. The young-palm orchid, Tropidia polystachya, was first discovered in Brickell Hammock in Miami-Dade County in 1897 but by the 1930s much of Brickell Hammock had been razed to make room for lavish bayfront homes. Tropidia polystachya was reduced to fewer than 50 plants isolated in a small remnant of Brickell Hammock close to Biscayne Bay. Over the years the population dwindled and in the 1970s the City of Miami placed a nature trail directly through the largest colony of orchids, further reducing the known population to several dozen plants. Hurricane Andrew caused


considerable damage to the small hammock and homeless people quickly moved in, chopping down trees to form makeshift shelters. The constant foot traffic has now reduced the population to possibly only three plants. The small clusters of white flowers are produced principally in October. Without some help from concerned people, this unassuming little orchid could be easily extirpated in Florida. Michaux's orchid, Habenaria quinqueseta, on the other hand, is common in a wide range of habitats throughout Florida and can be common on road shoulders, in open prairies of the Everglades, in shaded forests, and in swamps, such as the Fakahatchee Swamp in Collier County. Spindly, white flowers are produced from January in southern Florida to August in the northern counties. A close relative, and easily one of Florida’s rarest orchids, is the false water-spider orchid, Habenaria distans, known only from Collier County. It can easily be confused with H. quinqueseta but the flowers on H. distans are greenish in color and fewer flowers are produced atop the stem. Another similar species is the water-spider orchid, Habenaria repens, which could qualify as one of the most common terrestrial orchids of the Gulf states. It prefers rather wet habitats, including roadside ditches, cypress swamps, bogs, and wet meadows. Each flower spike is chockfull of small, spindly, greenish-yellow flowers that are produced throughout the year. There are moments that linger in our memory long after they occurred, and finding crimson


lepanthopsis, Lepanthopsis melanantha was one of those moments for me. I had spent five years searching for this minuscule epiphyte in the deepest recesses of the Fakahatchee Swamp in Collier County. Luer notes that it was first discovered in 1931 and 'since that time, it has been seen again on only relatively few occasions.' He goes on to state that 'not only is it diminutive and secretive in its habitat but it is also quite uncommon in the most inaccessible recesses of the swamp.' So, not only was I faced with attempting to find a diminutive and secretive orchid, but also a very rare one at that. Finally, in July 1976, accompanied by swarms of mosquitoes in a remote, particularly deep slough next to a lake in the interior of the swamp, there was a single plant in flower on a pop-ash tree. Since that date I have found only four other specimens. Impossibly small, crimson flowers are held atop frail stems, and these can appear sporadically throughout the year. The Florida butterfly orchid, Encyclia tampensis, was first discovered near Tampa in 1846 and still today it is considered to be the most common epiphytic orchid in the state. Globally it is only known from the Bahaman Archipelago and peninsular Florida, and here it can be found in virtually every habitat, from inhospitable mangrove-buttonwood associations, hardwood forests, and cypress swamps, to even fireprone areas such as pinelands and scrub. The plants superficially resemble a bunch of scallions, but in the heat and humidity of summer each year, branched spikes produce small flowers with greenish-brown sepals and petals with a snow-white lip adorned in the


center by pinkish-purple lines. There is considerable variation in flower color, particularly in the amount of pinkish-purple on the lip, and scent. Some smell like honey, while others are more reminiscent of chocolate. Prosthechea (Encyclia) boothiana var. erythronioides, the Florida dollar orchid, is still relatively abundant in remote coastal forests of Miami-Dade and Monroe counties, although it was historically even more widespread, especially in the Florida Keys. Wholesale collecting has taken its toll and, unfortunately for the orchid (and the collector as well I suppose), plants brought into cultivation usually only survived a few years at best. The August and September flowering season makes admiring and photographing this orchid a painful experience due to the intolerable swarms of saltmarsh mosquitoes that typify its habitat. Bloom spikes are adorned by interesting flowers with a greenish-brown coloration mottled with reddish-brown blotches. The Florida clamshell orchid, Prosthechea (Encyclia) cochleata var. triandra, is a well-known orchid in the nursery trade, and well known to native orchid enthusiasts as well. Over-collecting has taken its toll on native populations but it is still abundant in swampy forests of southern Florida, mostly in Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, and the Fakahatchee Swamp. Historically it was a commonly encountered species in the hammocks of Miami-Dade County and was reported by John Kunkel Small as being exceptionally prolific in Matheson Hammock.


This was an interesting historical account by J. K. Small because not a single specimen of this orchid occurs in Matheson Hammock today. A purplish lip is held atop yellow sepals and petals, and flowers appear mostly in fall, winter, and spring. Florida’s populations have three anthers and are self-pollinating. In the hardwood forests and swamps of southern Florida is one of our outstanding reed-type epidendrums, Epidendrum nocturnum, commonly known as the night-scented orchid. Spindly, but attractive flowers are produced periodically from July to December. The sepals and petals are yellow with a white, three-lobed lip. The center lobe is long and narrow, while the two side lobes are rounded and winglike. A pungent odor, reminiscent of Vick’s Vaporub, permeates the air around the flowers and attracts sphinx moths as pollinators. Found in piney woods and cypress swamps of southern Florida is the pine-pink, Bletia purpurea. This terrestrial species can be rather abundant in some areas but habitat destruction has taken its toll over much of its historic range. The plants look very similar to seedling palms and are often overlooked. In winter and spring, bright pink flowers are held atop tall, wiry stems, and seed pods are freely produced because the Florida populations are all self-pollinating. A rarity among Florida’s orchids, and a species seen by very few individuals, is Carter’s orchid, Basiphyllaea corallicola. It is certainly nothing to write


home about, although finding such a rare species is quite an accomplishment. Small, wiry stems emerge from cracks in the limestone substrate, and these are topped by insignificant flowers that never fully open. The lip is pinkish-purple but a hand lens is required to fully appreciate the flowers. This species was first discovered by Joel Jackson Carter, who was a guest of Alvah Augustus Eaton and John Kunkel Small on an orchid-searching mission to Florida in 1903. Eaton had been sent to Florida by Oakes Ames who was working on the first fascicle of his treatment on orchids. Eaton was so miffed that Carter made the discovery and not him, that he wrote a letter to Ames explaining that he probably would have found it had they not changed their seating arrangements on the horse-drawn wagon. Regardless of who saw it first, it is only with incredible luck that any of them noticed frail stems hiding among the other vegetation. Only a few other chance discoveries have been made since the early 1900s, the most recent being about 50 plants found along the edge of Addison Hammock at the Deering Estate at Cutler in 1991 and a few flowering plants found on Big Pine Key the same year. It has not been recognized since. In contrast to Carter’s orchid is the large, robust cowhorn orchid, Cyrtopodium punctatum, which inhabits hardwood forests, riverine mangrove-buttonwood forests, and cypress swamps of the southern tip of mainland Florida. Although it was one of the most sought-after orchids by collectors, healthy populations still survive in remote areas of southernmost Florida. Very showy spikes of flowers are produced in March,


April and May each year which, from a distance, resemble a swarm of bees hovering above the stout pseudobulbs. Each flower is creamy-yellow, mottled with rich, purplish-brown, and each flowering spike may bear 50 or more flowers. A plant with a dozen or more spikes in open flower is truly a sight to behold. Sometime in the 1950s, a Brazilian orchid known as Cyrtopodium paranaense was brought into cultivation in Florida and in just a few short years it had begun to escape cultivation. Today it is well established in at least one pineland preserve in southwest Miami-Dade County where it survives frequent fires. It is a terrestrial species, forming clumps of pseudobulbs among native pineland understory plants. In spring or early summer, erect spikes produce bright yellow flowers. This species is native to Brazil and was erroneously referred to as Cyrtopodium andersonii by Luer (1972). It wasn’t until 1976 when Oeceoclades maculata was first discovered in Florida and that discovery was in Matheson Hammock in Miami-Dade County. Since that time, this orchid has swept South Florida like a storm. It has successfully island-hopped through the Florida Keys and has become established well into central Florida. The attractive two-tone green mottled leaves look superficially like Sansevieria, and the small creamy-brown flowers are adorned by a white lip with two parallel pink blotches. This species is native to both Africa and South America and may have expanded its range northward as a result of global warming. Flowers are pollinated by rain and seed pods are readily


produced. It prefers the shade of hardwood forests but also invades tree orchards as well. It is quite ubiquitous and is probably in Florida to stay. Two species of Maxillaria are now known from Florida. The false butterfly orchid, Maxillaria crassifolia, was first discovered in 1934 and is restricted to Collier County. It can be found growing epiphytically in the more remote watery sloughs of the Fakahatchee Swamp. It is quite scarce and to see one in flower is even a bit disappointing. A single yellow flower is produced at the base of the plant, and is usually completely hidden by leaves that drop from the host tree and collect on the orchid’s leaves. The flowers often do not fully open either, adding further frustration to orchid photographers. A second species was discovered by the author in 1987 in a deep pop-ash slough in a seldom-visited area of the Fakahatchee Swamp. Several large colonies of the densely-flowered maxillaria, Maxillaria parviflora were found growing on a single tree and a herbarium specimen was collected by Dr. Carlyle Luer and deposited at Marie Selby Botanical Garden. Half of the multi-trunked tree broke off one year and now it seems the other portion of the tree has fallen too, so that may have wiped out this species in Florida. Very small, clustered flowers are produced at the base of the leading pseudobulb in September or October. Hopefully, other plants of this species lie undetected somewhere in the Fakahatchee. One can only hope at this point.


The spider orchid, Brassia caudata, is believed to be extirpated in Florida. It was only first discovered in 1915 and greedy collectors ravaged the few known populations. A few plants were moved into Everglades National Park by Dr. Frank Craighead in an effort to protect the species. The last known plant died in a hammock on Long Pine Key during the severe freeze of 1977 that brought snow and 17 degree temperatures to Miami. Large, mottled, spindly, spider-like flowers emerge in May and June but very few persons have had the privilege to see this orchid in the wild in Florida. Our only hope may be that it will get reintroduced to Florida from the tropics or that there is some undiscovered population tucked away in some hidden spot in Everglades National Park. The most spectacular orchid in Florida may very well be the mule-ear orchid, Oncidium undulatum. At least it would get my vote. Huge leaves, which do indeed look like a mule’s ear, may reach four feet long. Huge clusters of these plants are truly a sight when seen in its native coastal habitat, even when not in flower. In May, if you can possibly stand walking the necessary mile or two to get through vining entanglements of barbwire cactus, thickets of poisonous manchineel, Hippomane mancinella, sweltering heat, stifling humidity, and the densest swarms of saltmarsh mosquitoes you’ve ever experienced, then you will be rewarded with one of nature’s most inspiring sights... flowering mule-ear orchids. Flower spikes that sometimes reach five feet or more tower above the huge leaves and each flower spike produces dozens of flowers. Each flower is a rich,


golden mustard color, heavily blotched with deep reddish-brown, and the lip, sepals, and petals all have undulating margins. The flowers resemble those of members of the Malpighia Family, Malpighiaceae, and it is believed that they mimic these flowers to attract pollinators. The leafless orchids in Florida are among nature’s oddities. The leafless harrisella, Harrisella porrecta, is nothing more than a small mass of entangled, wiry roots that cling to small twigs of trees and shrubs. I have found them on citrus trees in old abandoned groves of central Florida, and on moss-covered stems of tallowwood, Ximenia americana, along tramroads in the Fakahatchee Swamp. Very small green flowers are produced in late summer and fall, followed by tiny seedpods. The Fakahatchee Swamp is the place to find the other two leafless species as well. The ribbon or thickspurred-orchis, Campylocentrum pachyrrhizum produces flattened roots with orange growing tips seeking nutrients from the host tree. In August, as many as a half-dozen flower spikes emerge from the center of the plant, and these each produce two tight rows of small pink-and-orange flowers. Fruit resemble miniature stalks of bananas. But if an orchid judge had to give a “Best of Show” for Florida’s native orchids, I would be disappointed if the award went to any other species than the ghost orchid, Polyradicion lindenii. When in flower,


the ghost orchid is truly a showstopper. A single (rarely double) flower emerges, principally in July, from the center of the plant’s roots that radiate outward like spokes on a wheel. The roots are flecked with white and have green growing tips. The flower is snow-white and is best described as looking like an albino frog leaping skyward. Perhaps Dr. Carlyle Luer said it best when he wrote 'Should one be lucky enough to see a flower, all else will seem eclipsed. There, caught hovering in mid-air, will be a fantastic, fairy-like ghost frozen in flight.'
Roger Hammer, 17360 Avocado Drive, Homestead, Florida 33030. E-mail: Roger is a well-recognized authority on the orchids of southern Florida and is the author of numerous articles on the subject as well as the recipient of several regional awards for his conservation and education efforts.



The Slow Empiricist Many people may not be aware of the existence of a truly remarkable place that houses a collection of fabulous glass flowers. Yes, I said glass flowers! They don't look like they are made of glass, however. They look like the real thing lying in their display cases. They are the creation of two men, Leopold Blaschka and his son, Rudolph. They had the fortunate situation of being born into a family of artisans in the Bohemian glass blowing tradition. They also lived in the time when science was influencing the creation of artistic work. The result was that these gifted gentlemen would spend five decades from 1886 to 1916 making these exquisite reproductions of the flora and the insect pollinators associated with them from an esoteric medium that one normally doesn't think of as being scientifically oriented, namely, glass blowing. The collection is housed at the Harvard Museum of Natural History in Cambridge, Massachusetts. It is open to the public and you can easily spend several hours enjoying the large collection. Adjoining the museum on the same floor are exhibits of minerals to


the right of the rooms housing the glass flowers and zoological specimens to the left of the flowers. There are also many other cultural exhibits in the building, so you may want to plan to spend a day there if you have more wide-ranging interests than just looking at plant forms and in particular, orchids. The University has just acquired tools, glass samples, lampworking bench and personal artifacts from the Blaschkas' studio near Dresden, Germany, which add to a better understanding of the processes that helped create the flowers. Leopold confessed in 1889 that there was no secret apparatus that squeezed the molten glass into the flower forms. It took having a background of several generations in the business and the talent and passion for the medium to produce these examples of the best in Bohemian scientific art glass. The Blaschka family can be traced back to the 15th century as levelers and glassmakers. Bohemia became known as world center for glasswork by the 18th century. When Leopold and Rudolph entered the scene a fascination with natural history had swept over peoples' imagination and occupied much speculation and activity. The Blaschkas, quite naturally, became absorbed with these ideas and when the scientific community asked them to create glass models of marine life to use in college level studies, they began to develop ways to reproduce the specimens in glass. Glass was a much more permanent and satisfactory medium than the earlier examples made from wax and papier-mache'. This eventually led into the area of flora. Professor


George Lincoln Goodale, founder of the Botanical Museum at Harvard, wanted life-like examples of the plant kingdom for teaching botany. The Harvard collection includes 847 species of plant life, with over 1,000 models. Many of the models depict members of the orchid family. Often the specimens included enlarged segments, alongside the regular sized complete specimen, that showed in remarkable, accurate detail specific portions of the flower. Some had cut-away portions that showed the inner workings of the plant. Pollinators were often included with the specimens. All these enhancements enabled students to get a clearer idea of the plant they were studying. To get more information about the collection such as exhibition hours and cost of entrance, you can go to the Internet and click on http: // where I got some of the information I included in this article. For guided tour information call (617) 495 2341. I could continue to rave about the collection and information you can garner from visiting the museum but I would rather urge you to include a real life visit to the museum if you find yourself within commuting distance, or if visiting the Boston area, of the collection. I think it would be well worth your time and effort.
The Slow Empiricist


If you have enjoyed The Slow Empiricist's articles in each issue of the Journal you will soon be able to have a volume of all of the columns he has written since 1995. There will be 19 different articles, many with new illustrations and several with annotations and updates. This special publication will be given to NANOA members who renew their membership prior to November 15, 1999. The volume will be included with the December Journal mailing. Additional copies can be purchased for $5.


Tom Sampliner If I were a lady's-slipper orchid, I would not select as growing mates poison ivy and multiflora rose. Yet this is exactly what my first view of a small population of these stately, graceful orchids revealed. Tucked away in the northern portion of the Daniel Boone National Forest in Kentucky, these largest of the yellow lady's-slippers lend their beauty to an otherwise dark unnoteworthy forest. Perhaps the overall impression is negative not only because of the extensive amount of aggressive, invasive species, but also because of the amount of human debris strewn throughout the area. However, to meet for the first time such an impressive orchid in flower as Cypripedium kentuckiense, such distractions are quickly forgotten. My journey was southward on Saturday, May 22, 1999. I took along a congenial driving companion with similar photographic goals in mind. Armed with both written directions and a hand drawn map by an acquaintance from the North American Native Orchid Alliance I was confident I would see the species for the first time. However, as we reached Columbus, Ohio and the skies opened up with whatever had not been used to float Noah's Ark, I was less confident on getting pictures. The rains came in waves one after the other.


Each would require lights as bright as possible and wipers working at the fastest possible speed. Speaking of the latter, speed, that became a reduction from normal interstate travel to that of a small side street. Even that was unsafe for some, as we saw one of those unsafe at any speed SUV machines flip at a turn on the interstate ending upside down with the young lady driving emerging from the passenger's side door seemingly unhurt though shaky from the experience. Not an encouraging beginning for a 600+ mile roundtrip. Just like the heavy downpours, all of this too would quickly fade from memory. A wide though fairly dry stream parallels the country road harboring the orchid site. Completely dry creeklet beds meander the opposite side of the road where the orchids are found. The entire area is forested bottomland becoming thickly canopied to the creek embankments. For us Ohioans, a noteworthy tree in goodly supply was the umbrella magnolia, Magnolia tripetala. This species, along with it's even larger leaved cousin, Magnolia macrophylla, only penetrate into the southern one-third tier of our state. The present species shows off the name engendering clusters of long dark green leaves near the ends of flowering branches. Dimensions of the leaves listed in many authorities are impressive just on paper; lengths of 7-16 inches and widths of 4-8 inches. The flowers are white, large and impressive, though purported to be somewhat foul up close. Here only a few were in evidence and they were high up.


Aside from the previously mentioned obnoxious pests of Toxicodendron radicans and Rosa multiflora, the most noticeable shrub was spicebush, Lindera benzoin. Passage through this area was made quite pleasant as brushing by the spicebush released the fragrance. of flowering herbs, the ephemerals were mostly past; one exception was a substantial amount of Canada violet, Viola canadensis showing off white petals with dark violet lines and on the reverse a pink-violet combination of color suffusion. It was already afternoon and rather late at that. Even with an early morning start early, 300+ miles one way calls for a few stops on the way and the route is not all freeway. We were hopeful the wind and rain would offer a lull or two. My shout of exuberance signified to Fred Wolf that I had found our quarry, and in prime bloom no less. An immediate visual impression confirmed the literature about the stature, if not the elegance, of the plant. Even the wind, the darkness of the weather and the dense forest canopy did not stop us from commencing to document the orchids on film. Granted these would not be great pictures unless the weather broke. To enable such a window of opportunity, we leisurely examined the various specimens as well as the immediate area. Time passed onward drifting into what must be dubbed early evening [say does that allow me to now call these beauties "ladies of the evening"?]


Patience was a virtue this day. The wait opened up a brief but adequate window of calmness and shafts of light and brightening that gave us hope for some keepers from the many pictures we had taken this day. Before giving you my personal trait additions or observations of what this one and only population of the Kentucky lady's-slipper I have ever seen, it may be appropriate to briefly review what some others found. Alliance member, Carl R. Slaughter, MD. in his Wild Orchids of Arkansas, 1993, notes this species can rise to 3 feet in height. In his state, it apparently blooms some 2 weeks later than their other two yellow pouch orchids - southern small yellow lady's-slipper, Cypripedium parviflorum var. parviflorum and large yellow lady'sslipper, C. parviflorum var. pubescens. Having just come down from Ohio, I know this would not be the same in our case since the latter two varieties were then quite priime, while the northern small yellow lady'sslipper, C. parviflorum var. makasin was not yet even open. Carl also provides helpful complete range information going from Kentucky in the north then south through Arkansas to Louisiana, then west in scattered sites in both Texas & Oklahoma.1 Another alliance member, Philip E. Keenan in his book, Wild Orchids Across North America, a botanical travelogue, 1998, provides in one of the appendices both a habitat and geographical distribution. His habitat information may prove useful. Phil sets them

See NANOJ 2:


forth as being wooded floodplains, marshes and seeps. The site at issue is clearly the first one. His height and size comments agree with Carl's In the October. 1985 issue of the American Orchid Society Bulletin, Dr. John T. Atwood, the Director of the Orchid Identification Center at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, has written a brief article on the range of this species. In connection therewith, he had planned a treatment of the yellow slipper complex for the southeastern United States. He requested loans of any yellow slippers from herbaria throughout the southeast. He comments that specimens with labellum pressed laterally were most useful, as this shows the deep, almost globular labellum with a much-flattened top. The large dorsal sepal also shows off well. Bordering states such as mine, are encouraged to be on the lookout for this handsome species, as are residents of Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, West Virginia and Georgia. After all, we haven't been introduced all that long ago to this species; see Cypripedium kentuckiense Reed, a new species of orchid in Kentucky, Phytologia 48:426-8, c.f. Reed 1981. I am not a trained botanist nor can I claim that observations of one population of a species new to me are meaningful. However, having set forth those caveats, here goes what I saw. In dappled light of the canopied forest, once your eye picks out the plants, a silvery, pubescent, stout


stalk standing the earlier mentioned three feet tall calls attention to itself. In addition, these specimens manifest a zig-zag stem, most prominent after the first sheathing leaves and on up to the top of the flowering stalk. This trait was present even upon the stems of those plants not blooming. The leaves were immense; especially the width dimension. Each dark green leaf was deeply pleated and so broad in appearance each seemed to be a great weight upon the stem. The overall impression made by the visible pubescence, stem zigzag and broad leaves is the most striking of any other slipper orchid I have seen. Turning to the orchid flower, it too creates a most unique portrait in the dark woods. We already know the flower size makes it the largest of the yellow slippers. Atwood gave us commentary on the pouch oriface. However, I will presume to comment on the color and patterns. Each flower's oriface rim was lined with a seemingly manufactured madder color parade of evenly spaced dots. The pouch interior design was equally well planned. The veins along the pouch bottom were also neatly lined with the same pretty dots. For whatever reason, I did not see any randomly scattered dots. Each pouch was a rich creamy white/yellow. Each also emitted a pleasant fragrance to my inquiring nose. The lateral petals and the three sepals exhibited the same combination of lines, blotches, suffusion of maroon and green that Sheviak describes so well in Cypripedium parviflorum var. parviflorum. Thus the degree


of maroon suffusion varied considerably among the specimens being examined. I have concern for this Morehead, Kentucky site not only due to the human trespass damage, but also due to obvious evidence of what I observe to be browse, presumably by white-tail deer. I did not locate evidence of what I had been told were holes left by plant pirates. Perhaps this society or even the Kentucky Native Plant Society can become unofficial stewards for orchid locations such as this. After all, if we do not act to preserve our heritage, who will? Tom Sampliner



Paul Martin Brown ONLY IN FLORIDA! Of the 230+ taxa of orchids growing in the wild in North America (north of Mexico) it is not surprising that those restricted to a single state or province are found at the far corners of the continent. California has several species of Piperia that are endemic, Alaska has several rarities but Cypripedium yatabeanum, Malaxis diphyllos and Platanthera tipuloides are found only in that state/province in North America (although all are found in Asia). Newfoundland now has two different species of Dactylorhiza that have appeared in recent decades and have not been found elsewhere on the continent and are closely akin to similar species in Europe. Two of the most striking examples are Platanthera pallida, which is confined to eastern Long Island in New York State and Spiranthes delitescens, endemic to southwestern Arizona. Because of their proximity to Mexico and the Caribbean, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and Florida also have several species


found only in those states in the United States. The Mexican species of Malaxis, Hexalectris and several spiranthoide species are found in Texas and the Southwest. But, Florida leads the pack with the most species to be found singularly within a single state or province. Of the 113+ taxa found in Florida 68 are not to be found elsewhere in North America north of Mexico. If we exclude those species that are universally considered to be introductions or escapes, regardless of their rarity, 60 species remain. Below is a synopsis of those species, their distribution and status.
Basiphyllaea corallicola (Small) Ames
CARTER'S ORCHID southeastern Florida; few sites in Dade & Monroe Counties Bahamas, West Indies

Beloglottis costaricensis (Reichenbach f.) Schlecter
SYN: Spiranthes costaricensis Reichenbach f.

COSTA RICAN LADIES'-TRESSES South Florida; Dade County Central America, northern South America

Bletia purpurea (Lambert) de Candolle
PINE-PINK southern Florida; widespread and often frequent in the southern counties; a single site in Brevard County (adventive?) West Indies, Central America, northern South America

Brassia caudata (Linnaeus) Lindley
SPIDER ORCHID south Florida; formerly in Dade County; extirpated? West Indies, Central America, northern South America

Bulbophyllum pachyrhachis (A. Richard) Grisebach


RAT-TAIL ORCHID South Florida; single site in Collier County; extirpated? West Indies, Central America, South America

Calopogon tuberosus (Linnaeus) Britton, Sterns & Poggenberg var. simpsonii (Small) Magrath
SIMPSON'S GRASS-PINK Southern Florida; found locally abundant in the open marls of the southern counties; differs from the typical by it much larger size, habitat and very narrow inrolled leaves.

Campylocentrum pachyrrhizum (Reichenbach f.) Rolfe
CROOKED-SPUR ORCHID Southern Florida; known only from Collier County West Indies, northern South America

Cranichis muscosa Swartz

MOSS-LOVING CRANICHIS Southern Florida; extirpated?? West Indies, Central America, northern South America

Cyclopogon cranichoides (Grisebach) Schlecter
SYN. Beadlea cranichoides (Grisebach) Small Spiranthes cranichoides (Griesebach) Cogniaux

CRANEORCHIS LADIES'-TRESSES Florida; widespread records, but with few extant sites; north to Alachua County Bahamas, West Indies, Central America, South America

Cyclopogon elatus (Swartz) Schlecter
SYN. Beadlea elata (Swartz) Small Spiranthes elata (Swartz) L.C. Richard

TALL NEOTTIA southern Florida; very rare; perhaps no longer extant West Indies, Mexico, Central America, northern South America

Cyrtopodium punctatum (Linnaeus) Lindley

COWHORN ORCHID South Florida; formerly more abundant, still widespread in the southernmost counties Mexico, Central America, West Indies, South America

Eltroplectris calcarata (Swartz) Garay & Sweet


SYN: Centrogenium setaceum (Lindley) Schlecter

SPURRED NEOTTIA South Florida; rare in Dade & (formerly) Highlands Counties Bahamas, West Indies, northern South America

Encyclia rufa (Lindley) Britton & Millspaugh
REDDISH ENCYCLIA East central Florida; a single collection by Small (Brevard County) in 1932; not seen since then

Encyclia tampensis (Lindley) Small
Florida BUTTERFLY ORCHID Florida; widespread through the peninsula north to Levy and Volusia Counties; absent from Marion County

Epidendrum amphistomum A. Richard

SYN: E. anceps Jacquin in part DINGY-FLOWERED EPIDENDRUM Southern Florida; widespread in the hardwood hammock of the southern counties West Indies

Epidendrum blancheanum Urban
SYN: Epidendrum acunae Dressler

MRS. AMES' EPIDENDRUM; RAMOSE ORCHID Southern Florida; restricted to very few plants in Collier County Central America; West Indies

Epidendrum conopseum R. Brown var. mexicanum L.O. Williams
BRONZE GREEN-FLY ORCHIS Central Florida; apparently not uncommon from southern Marion County southward Mexico

Epidendrum floridense Hagsater
SYN: Epidendrum difforme Jacquin in part Neolehmannia difformis (Jacquin) Pabst

FLORIDA UMBELLED EPIDENDRUM Southern Florida endemic; rare and local in the southernmost counties

Epidendrum nocturnum Jacquin
NIGHT-FRAGRANT EPIDENDRUM Southern Florida; widespread in the hardwood hammock of southern Florida


West Indies, Central America, northern + central South America

Epidendrum rigidum Jacquin

RIGID EPIDENDRUM Southern Florida; widespread in the hardwood hammock of southern Florida West Indies, Central America, northern + central South America

Epidendrum strobiliferum Swartz

CONE-BEARING EPIDENDRUM Southern Florida; known only from Collier County; literaature reports from Monroe & Lee West Indies, Central America, northern + central South America

Galeandra beyrichii Reichenbach f.

BEYRICH'S GALEANDRA Southern Florida; rare in Dade County West Indies, Central America, northern + central South America

Govenia sp.
Florida GOVENIA South Florida; Dade Country; extirpated??? Unidentifieable species due to lack of plant material

Habenaria distans Grisebach

FALSE WATER-SPIDER ORCHID Southern Florida; rare in Collier County formerly? In Highlands and Lee West Indies, Central America, northern South America

Habenaria macroceratitis Willdenow
LONG-HORNED HABENARIA Rare in central Florida; Mexico and Central American


Polyradicion lindenii Ghost orchid


Habenaria macroceratitis long-horned habenaria


Habenaria odontopetala Reichenbach f.

SYN: Habenaria strictissima Reichenbach f. var. odontopetala (Reichenbach f.) L.O. Williams

TOOTHED HABENARIA Widespread through out all be the panhandle of Florida; Mexico, West Indies, Central America

Harrisella porrecta (Reichenbach f.) Fawcett & Rendle
SYN: Campylocentrum porrectum Reichenbach f.

LEAFLESS HARRISELLA Widespread in central and southern Florida; Mexico, Central America, West Indies

Ionopsis utricularioides (Swartz) Lindley

DELICATE IONOPSIS Southern Florida; Palm Beach County southward West Indies, Central America, northern South America

Lepanthopsis melanantha (Reichenbach f.) Ames
CRIMSON LEPANTHOPSIS Southern Florida; rare in Collier County West Indies

Liparis elata Lindley
TALL TWAYBLADE Southern Florida; rare and local in Collier Co; very rare in Hillsborough and Hernando Counties; Mexico

Macradenia lutescens R. Brown
TRINIDAD MACRADENIA Southern Florida; Dade/Monroe Counties; extirpated?? West Indies, north South America

Maxillaria crassifolia (Lindley) Reichenbach f.

FALSE BUTTERFLY ORCHID Southern Florida; local in Collier County West Indies, Central America, northern South America

Maxillaria parviflora (Poeppig & Endlicher) Garay
SYN: Maxillaria conferta (Grisebach) C. Schweinfurth ex Leon

DENSELY-FLOWERED MAXILLARIA Southern Florida; very rare in Collier County


West Indies, Mexico, Central America, South America

Mesadenus polyanthus (Reichenbach f.) Schlecter
SYN. Spiranthes polyanthus Reichenbach f.

MANY-FLOWERED LADIES'-TRESSES Florida; widely scattered in few local sites from Dade to Duval Counties Mexico, Bahamas, West Indies, Central America

Oncidium floridanum Ames
FLORIDA ONCIDIUM Southern Florida; local in Dade, Monroe and (formerly?) Collier Counties BAHAMAS

Oncidium undulatum (Swartz) Salisbury
SYN: Oncidium luridum auct. non Lindley

MULE-EARED ORCHID Southern Florida; local in Dade, Monroe and (formerly?) Collier Counties West Indies, Central America, northern South America

Pelexia adnata (Swartz) Sprengl

SYN: Spiranthes adnata (Swartz) Bentham ex Fawcett

GLANDULAR LADIES'-TRESSES Southern Florida; very rare (extirpated??) in Dade County West Indies, Central America, Mexico, northern South America

Pleurothallis gelida Lindley
FROSTED PLEUROTHALLIS Southern Florida; local in Collier County West Indies, Central America, northern South America

Platytheles sagreana (A. Richard) Garay

CUBAN GROUND ORCHID Southern Florida; rare from Higlands County southward

Polyradicion lindenii (Lindley) Garay
SYN: Polyrrhiza lindenii (Lindley) Cogniaux

GHOST ORCHID; FROG ORCHID Southern Florida; local in southern counties; primarily Collier County West Indies

Polystachya concreta (Jacquin) Garay & Sweet
SYN: Polystachya flavescens (Lindley) J.J. Small


PALE-FLOWERED POLYSTACHYA Southern Florida; local in southern counties West Indies, Central America, northern + central South America

Ponthieva brittoniae Ames

SYN: Ponthieva racemosa (Walter) C. Mohr var. brittonae (Ames) Luer

MRS. BRITTON'S SHADOW-WITCH Southern Florida; extirpated ??? in Dade County; recent reports from Collier County need to be verified BAHAMAS

Prescottia oligantha (Swartz) Lindley
SMALL PRESCOTTIA Southern Florida; very rare in Dade County West Indies, Central America, northern + central South America

Prosthechea boothiana (Lindley) W.E. Higgins var. erythronioides (Small) W.E. Higgins

SYN: Encyclia boothiana (Lindley) Dressler var. erythronioides (Small) Luer

FLORIDA DOLLAR ORCHID Southern Florida; Dade & Monroe Counties; formerly Collier County Variety restricted to Florida and perhaps a few of the islands but the species is widespread in Central America, West Indies

Prosthechea cochleata (Linnaeus) W.E. Higgins var. triandra (Ames) W.E. Higgins

SYN: Anacheilum cochleatum (Linnaeus) Small var. triandrum (Ames) Saleuda et al. Encyclia cochleata (Linnaeus) Dressler var. triandra (Ames) Dressler

FLORIDA CLAM-SHELL ORCHID Southern Florida; widespread in the southern counties Variety restricted to Florida and perhaps a few of the islands but the species is widespread in the West Indies, Central America, northern South America

Prosthechea pygmaea (Hooker) W.E. Higgins

SYN: Encyclia pygmaea (Hooker) Dressler Hormidium pygmaceum (Hooker) Bentham ex Encyclia pygmaea (Hooker) Dressler DWARF EPIPENDRUM Southern Florida; very rare in Collier West Indies, Central America, northern South America

Sacoila lanceolata (Aublet) Garay var. lanceolata
SYN: Spiranthes lanceolata (Aublet) Leon


LEAFLESS BEAKED ORCHID Florida; widespread throughout the peninsula most common from Orlando southward Mexico, Bahamas, West Indies, Central America, South America

Spiranthes orchioides (Swartz) A. Richard Stenorrhynchos lanceolatum (Aublet) Richard ex Sprengel

Sacoila lanceolata (Aublet) Garay var. paludicola (Luer) Saluda, Wunderlein et Hansen
SYN: Spiranthes lanceolata (Aublet) Leon var. paludicola Luer

FAHKAHATCHEE BEAKED ORCHID South Florida; local in Collier County; planted? In Dade and Broward Counties

Spiranthes amesiana Eaton AMES' LADIES'-TRESSES
South Florida; single historic collection from Dade County

Spiranthes torta (Thunberg) Garay & Sweet
SYN: Spiranthes tortilis (Swartz) L.C. Richard

SOUTHERN LADIES'-TRESSES Southern Florida; rare & local in south Florida pinelands Bahamas, West Indies, Central America

Tolumnia bahamensis (Nash ex Britton & Millspaugh) G.J. Braem
SYN: Oncidium bahamense Nash ex Britton & Millspaugh

FLORIDA'S DANCING LADY South/central Florida, rare and local near Martin/Palm Beach County line BAHAMAS

Triphora craigheadii Luer

CRAIGHEAD'S TRIPHORA Florida; few scattered sites primarily in central Florida

Triphora gentianoides (Swartz) Ames & Schlecter

LEAST FLOWERED TRIPHORA Southern Florida; widespread and local; some believe that it is adventive West Indies, Central America, northern South America


Tolumnia bahamensis Florida's dancing lady


Triphora latifolia Luer f.
WIDE-LEAVED TRIPHORA Central Florida; very rare at only a few locations West Indies

Triphora rickettii Luer
RICKETT'S TRIPHORA Florida; if distinct from Triphora yucatenensis Ames restricted to Florida

Tropidia polystachya (Swartz) Ames

MANY-FLOWERED TROPIDIA Southern Florida; very rare in Dade County; recently refound West Indies, Central America, northern South America

Vanilla barbellata Reichenbach f.
WORM-VINE; LEAFLESS VANILLA Southern Florida; Dade/Monroe Counties West Indies

Vanilla dilloniana Correll

DILLON'S VANILLA Southern Florida; very rare (extirpated??) in Dade County West Indies

Vanilla mexicana P. Miller
SYN: Vanilla inodora Schiede

SCENTLESS VANILLA Southern Florida; rare in Martin County; widespread in southern counties West Indies, Central America, northern South America

Vanilla phaeantha Reichenbach f.

OBLONG-LEAVED VANILLA Southern Florida; local in Collier/Monroe Counties West Indies

Paul Martin Brown is the editor of this Journal and a Research
Associate at the University of Florida Herbarium in Gainesville Florida. He is currently work on a detailed orchid flora of Florida.



Ronald A. Coleman

In mid-July of 1998 I investigated several large populations of the large yellow lady's-slipper, Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens in northern New Mexico. Many flowers were in capsule, and only a few retained any color to hint at their past glory. I resolved to return the next year to see them in bloom. Consequently, as June, 1999 progressed, I waited impatiently for its end, having determined the previous year that the last week of June was the best window to see the yellow lady's-slippers in bloom. I arrived on site on 26 June, and the timing was impeccable. There were an estimated 3000 prime blooming plants in three locations, with at least that number of immature plants and seedlings. The three locations were different stream systems separated by about 6 to 10 miles. Picking which orchid to photograph out of 3000 is a formidable but delightful task. As I studied and


measured the flowers, I began to notice extensive color variation from plant to plant. The typical Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens has a yellow pouch, with yellow staminode, and tan to rich brown sepals and petals. The brown color in the sepals and petals is due to pigmented stripes running their length. The shade and intensity of the stripes imparts the darker color to the base yellowish green of the sepals and petals. The stripes are closely spaced, appearing solid at the apex, but begin to diverge, and thin to dots near the column. The range of color here was greater than I have experienced elsewhere, and some flowers were totally lacking brown pigmentation. Sepals and petals on those plants varied from a pale yellow to a pale green. Many shades of color between the extremes of dark brown and totally lacking brown pigmentation were scattered about. Some flowers had just a faint hint of a few lightly colored dots on the sepals and petals, while others were from 10% to 90% of the color of the darkest plants. The plants with color variations were intermixed with fully colored ones, and were in all three locations. Due to vegetative propagation, clusters of 10 to 15 plants would have the same color pattern in the sepals and petals. The amount of twisting in the petals varied almost as much as the color, but was not correlated to the color. Most petals had a corkscrew clockwise twist when viewed from their tip toward the pouch. The twisting varied from five complete twists, to only one. However, a small sample of the flowers had no twists in the petals, but instead the petals were spread almost flat except that they had wavy margins.


In contrast to the color of the sepals and petals, the yellow of the pouch was pretty much the same on all plants. The red dotting on the pouch varied however. Most plants had red dots on the inside edge of the pouch, and few to many red dots on the bottom of the pouch. Some, but not all, plants had red dots on the staminode. A few flowers had red dots scattered all over the front of the pouch. In addition to color variation, some plants had varying amounts of structural abnormalities. The most common abnormality was the presence of two full sepals instead of the normal synsepal. I have also seen the mountain lady's-slipper, Cypripedium montanum, with two sepals instead of a synsepal (Coleman 1995). Approximately 1% of the total population had two sepals. One plant with two flowers had a normal synsepal on the lower flower, and two sepals on the upper flower. Observed less often was the absence of one or more petals. Scattered among the many normal flowers were flowers with only one petal. Equally often either the right or left petal was missing. At about the same frequency were flowers without any petals. The flowers with a single petal were oddly non-symmetrical, but those without any petals had a sleek symmetry all their own. Like the color variation, these structural anomalies were present in about the same percentages in all three locations studied. These plants were examined with a 10-power lens, and there was no evidence of petals being eaten or torn away.


All of these color forms and structural variations were scattered almost uniformly throughout the three populations. That type of distribution, along with the presence on one plant of flowers with and without a synsepal suggest these variations are genetic within the population as a whole, and not worthy of recognition as varieties or forms.
Reference: Coleman, R. A., 1995. The Wild Orchids of California. Cornell University Press.

Ron Coleman, 11520 E. Calle del Valle, Tucson, AZ 85749 Ron has been a frequent contributor to this Journal as well as the American Orchid Society Bulletin and Orchids. He is the author of the aforementioned Wild Orchids of California.




Plate 1 - Zettler: A Report on Seed Germination


yellow fringeless orchis Platanthera integra
P.M. Brown


eastern prairie fringed orchis

Platanthera leucophaea
M. Bowles

295 296

Plate 2 - Empiricist: A Special Place

Two examples of the glass flowers from the collection at Harvard University. Left: Habenaria (Platanthera) psycodes flower

Epidendrum (Encyclia) cochleata showing portions of enlarged structures

296 297

Plate 3 - Coleman: Variations in Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens

Yellow sepals and petals

no petals

red dots on pouch

no synsepal



Plate 4 - Coleman: Variations in Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens

Normal flower on right and no petals on the one on left

All photos on Plates 3 & 4 by Ron Coleman

right petal missing

green sepals and petals