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Leiphaimos Schlechtendal & Chamisso. Ghost-plant.

A genus of about 14 species, holomycoheterotrophic herbs, of tropical America (including s. FL) (13 species) and w. and c. Africa (1 species). Recently, the genus Leiphaimos has usually been treated as a subgenus of Voyria, but given its monophyly and strong, consistent, and major morphological differences, its traditional status as an independent genus seems warranted. Gomes et al. (2022) stated "Similar to previous work (Merckx & al., 2013), we recovered both subgenera, Voyria subg. Leiphaimos and subg. Voyria (Albert & Struwe, 1997)... These subgenera show clear morphological differences, for example: the presence of stomata, stems with single xylem cylinders and internal phloem, anatropous and unitegmic ovules, normal embryo sac orientation, and embryos with dermatogen initials in V. subg. Voyria, and the absence of stomata, stems with separate vascular bundles, fruits with medial dehiscence, atropous and ategmic ovules, inverse embryo sac orientation, fusiform seeds, highly reduced embryos and endosperm, and paraphyses in V. subg. Leiphaimos (Maas & Ruyters, 1986; Albert & Struwe, 1997)." We treat the two monophyletic clades at generic rank. The genus name is probably best pronounced “lipe-hie-mose”, as it is apparently derived from roots ‘leip-‘ and ‘-haimos’ meaning “lacking blood”.

ID notes:Unmistakable as a white to cream plant (lacking chlorophyll) and with the inflorescence a compound dichasium.

Ref: Albert & Struwe (1997); Correll & Correll (1982); Gomes et al. (2022); Long & Lakela (1976); Maas & Ruyters (1986); Merckx et al. (2013); Pringle (2023) In Flora of North America Editorial Committee (2023c); Struwe & Pringle (2018) In Kadereit & Bittrich (2018). Show full citations.

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