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Key to Orchidaceae

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1 Plant epiphytic, growing on the branches or trunks of trees in swamps or hammocks (rarely epilithic).
1 Plant terrestrial, growing on soil.

Key to epiphytic orchids: Key to Orchidaceae

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1 Plant a vine, the main stems long and climbing up the trunks or stems of other woody plants; stems succulent
1 Plant not a vine, instead a cespitose, trailing, rhizomatous, or hanging herb; stems not succulent.
  2 Leaves equitant in a fan-like array; plants growing as a twig-epiphyte primarily on Ceratiola ericoides and perhaps occasionally scrub oaks; [limited to xeric scrub habitat in Martin and Palm Beach counties, FL].
    3 Flowers primarily white with yellow, brown, and purple coloration; without dark streaks extending down the middle lobe of the lip.
    3 Flowers bright pink to dark purple; with 5 darker purple streaks (the middle partially yellow) extending down the middle lobe of the lip.
  2 Leaves not equitant or fan-like; plants not twig epiphytes in xeric scrub; [in a wide variety of cypress swamps, mesic hardwood hammocks, sloughs, strands, or otherwise non-xeric, swampy habitats throughout; occasionally in crevices of grit outcrops (e.g. Epidendrum conopseum)].
      4 Plant without pseudobulbs or basally thickened stems, instead only with fleshy, glabrous, fibrous, or chlorophyllous roots
        5 Plants with fleshy, glabrous, or fibrous roots, not evidently photosynthetic or velamentous; plants with 1 to many leaves.
          6 Stems with numerous alternate, cauline leaves; leaf blades ovate to elliptic or lanceolate, fleshy-leathery
          6 Stems with a single leaf, erect and sessile or subsessile; leaf blades elliptic to oblanceolate, leathery.
             7 Inflorescences few flowered racemes (occasionally several-flowered), 0.8-2 cm long; flowers dark red-purple, glabrous, typically congested near apex of inflorescence; stems 1.5-5 (-8) cm long with 4-8 closely appressed, ciliate sheaths; leaf blades < 2.5 cm long.
             7 Inflorescences many-flowered racemes, (6-)10-25 (-28) cm long; flowers pubescent, translucent yellow, often spaced throughout the inflorescence; stems 10-25 cm long with 2-3 loose, inflated sheaths; leaf blades > 10 cm.
        5 Plants with chlorophyllous roots, evidently photosynthetic, velamentous (with thick spongy root epidermis); plants with leaves absent, early deciduous, or otherwise inconspicuous.
               8 Inflorescence a densely arranged, 2-ranked, erect or pendent spike with more than 12 flowers; flowers sessile at the node; floral bracts cordate; spur saccate
               8 Inflorescence a moderate to loosely flowered raceme with 1-10 flowers (less than 12), floral bracts lanceolate; spur arcuate or scrotiform.
                 9 Chlorophyllous roots with prominent white marks; perianth segments (sepals/petals) > 20 mm, white to cream-colored; middle lobe of lip with subquadrangular isthmus, between 2 twisting caudate lobes 45-70 mm long; arcuate spurs to 17 cm long; roots 3-5 mm wide.
                 9 Chlorophyllous roots without white marks; perianth segments (sepals/petals) < 4 mm long; lip ovate, lacking long caudate lobes, pale yellow; scrotiform spurs to 4 mm long; roots < 1 mm wide
      4 Plant with pseudobulbs (thickened stems), pseudobulbs sometimes inconspicuous, reduced, or appearing as basally thickened stems.
                   10 Pseudobulbs inconspicuous or not prominent (stems appearing basally thickened or pseudobulb reduced); reduced pseudobulbs often concealed by longer, scarious, leafy bracts.
                     11 Plants with a single, solitary, thick (coriaceous) elliptic leaf; flowers with prominent blotches
                     11 Plants with multiple leaves per stem (2-6); leaves linear-lanceolate or oblong-elliptic; flowers without prominent blotches.
                       12 Inflorescence erect-arching, not strongly secund and not curved upward at apex; flowers lavender or violet to white with dark rose/purple veins extending to distal portions of lip; typically flowering from Mar-Apr, towards the end of the s. FL dry season; leaves 3-13 cm long
                       12 Inflorescence a strongly secund terminal panicle (a simple raceme in smaller plants), often curved upward apically; flowers yellow-pale green; typically flowering from Aug-Dec., towards the end of the wet season and beginning of the s. FL dry season; leaves 3.5-20 cm long
                   10 Pseudobulbs conspicuous or prominent, strongly to slightly compressed; ovoid, sub-orbicular, ellipsoid, or fusiform (bilaterally flattened).
                          13 Pseudobulbs (on mature plants) > 30 (-50) cm long
                          13 Pseudobulbs (on mature plants) < 30 cm long (typically < 15 cm long).
                            14 Inflorescence terminal (arising from the apex of the pseudobulb).
                                       19 Pseudobulb completely enveloped by 6-7 conduplicate distichous leaf sheaths; flowers borne singly on short pedicels arising from leaf axil, without brown blotches; flowers self-pollinating
                                       19 Pseudobulb not enveloped by leaves; pedicels originating from inflorescence; flowers yellow to white, with or without brownish blotches, not self-pollinating.
                                             22 Perianth segments white to cream-yellow colored with maroon stripes; pollinia not borne on long slender stipe
                                             22 Perianth segments cream colored to pale orange with condensed red-purple spots; pollinia borne on a long slender stipe

Key to terrestrial orchids: Key to Orchidaceae

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1 Leaves absent at flowering, or with a solitary leaf with a purplish undersurface withering at about the time of flowering.
  2 Flowers with a spur.
    3 Spur shortly obtuse, lip partially tubular; [s. FL]
    3 Spur long and slender, lip not partially tubular; widespread in our region, south in FL to ne. FL]
  2 Flowers without a spur.
      4 Flowers white, the lip, sepals, and petals all predominantly white.
        5 Lip white with a single central green stripe; leaves often fugacious
        5 Lip white, centrally yellow to greenish-white, occasionally with multiple green veins (as in S. praecox and S. sylvatica); leaves present, absent, or withering (fugacious) at flowering
      4 Flowers pink, greenish, yellowish, or purplish, the lip sometimes white or marked with white, the sepals and petals colored.
             7 Flower solitary; [Mountains of SC, NC, and VA northwards]
             7 Flowers not solitary (inflorescence a raceme); [Coastal Plain of SC southwards]
               8 Lip with 2 fleshy keels near the base; pollinia 4; plants holomycotrophic (without chlorophyll) and never with leaves
               8 Lip with 3-7 keels near the base or extending most of the length of the lip; pollinia 4 or 8; plants either holomycotrophic (without chlorophyll) and never with leaves, or with a plicate winter leaf withering shortly before flowering.
                 9 Plants with a plicate winter leaf withering shortly before flowering (the withered remnant usually detectable); veins of the petals and sepals not strikingly different in color than the intervein areas; lip with 3 ridges; pollinia 4
                 9 Plants never with leaves, holomycotrophic (without chlorophyll); veins of the petals and sepals strikingly different in color than the intervein areas; lip with 5-7 ridges; pollinia 8
1 Leaves present at flowering (Cleistesiopsis with a foliaceous bract at the summit of the stem).
                   10 Plants with evident, above-ground pseudobulbs, sometimes enclosed by sheaths.
                       12 Lip broadest near its base; inflorescence typically a spicate raceme (prematurely umbellate in M. spicata); leaves to 10 cm long
                       12 Lip broadest near its apex; inflorescence typically a more open or lax raceme; leaves to 30 cm long.
                     11 Leaf bases not conspicuously clasping the stems (or if clasping, loosely so).
                            14 Flowers predominantly yellow, pseudobulbs > 8 (-100) cm long.
image of plant
Show caption*© Roger L. Hammer
image of plant
Show caption*© Roger L. Hammer
                              15 Flowers without brown spots; pseudobulbs typically 10-30 (-100) cm long
image of plant
Show caption*© Roger L. Hammer
                              15 Flowers with brown spots; pseudobulbs typically 8-15 cm long
                            14 Flowers not predominantly yellow, pseudobulbs < 8 cm long.
image of plant
Show caption*© Matt, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), uploaded by Matt
                                16 Leaves plicate, without conspicuous dark green mottling.
image of plant
Show caption*© Alan M. Cressler
                                  17 Lip conspicuously bearded (or if not bearded, conspicuously keeled and with brownish-maroon veins extending to margins of lip)
image of plant
Show caption*© Matt, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC), uploaded by Matt
                                    18 Perianth brown (white on lower surface); lip tubular
image of plant
Show caption*© Alan Cressler: Bletia patula, near Arecibo Observatory, Municipio de Arecibo, Puerto Rico 2 by Alan Cressler
                                       19 Lip with 5-7 conspicuous yellow-white keels
image of plant
Show caption*© Alan Cressler: Spathoglottis plicata, Riviere Glace Valley, Grand Anse Department, Haiti 1 by Alan Cressler
                                       19 Lip without 5-7 conspicuous yellow-white keels
                   10 Plants without above-ground pseudobulbs (either absent or subterranean).
                                               23 Leaf not long petiolate, orbicular; lateral sepals reflexed or slightly spreading without long acuminate apices, rather, typically blunt or rounded; [widespread; NC and TN northward]
                                                    25 Flowers relatively large, primarily pink, purple, or white; flowers arranged in loosely arranged racemes
                                                      26 Lip above (not resupinate); flowers purple or pink (rarely white), chasmogomous; lip with yellow fringes (beard)
                                                    25 Flowers relatively small, whitish; flowers arranged in densely (and sometimes also spirally) arranged spikes.
                                                          28 Flower solitary (-4), pink (rarely nearly white); [subfamily Vanilloideae; tribe Pogonieae].
                                                                       34 Leaves typically many (3-14); 4-20 cm long; lip variously colored without conspicuous yellow disc; [widespread]
                                                                                38 Lip with a spur; leaves linear, lanceolate, or narrowly elliptic, 5-40 cm long (at least the larger > 5 cm long, except in Aspidogyne, with lanceolate to ovate leaves 1.5-6.5 cm long).
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