Herbarium Digital Library


Category: Plants and Orchids
Date Posted: 2006-10-18

SPECIES OF THE VENUS LUISIA ARE OFTEN CONFUSED BY THE novice orchid growers and collectors for plants of the terete (or cylindrical leaved) Vandas, V. Teres and V. Miss Joaquim. This confusion results because the native Luisias have terete or cylindrical leaves which, at first observation, resemble those of the two aforementioned Vandas. Unfortunately, the flowers of the indigenous Luisias are small, only about one-half an inch across, and the sepals and petals are a drab greenish color while the labellum is dark purple.

This genus includes about thirty species which are distributed throughout the Malaysian area, extending throughout New Guinea to New Caledonia on the east and Ceylon on the west. The group was originally described by Gaudichaud in 1826 from material of L.teretifolia collected by him while on a trip throughout the East Indies. The generic name, Luisia, is in honor of D. Luis Torres for whom Gaudichaud had considerable admiration.

Possibly four species are native to the Philippines and with the exception of L. tereti folia they are endemic to the islands. L.teretifolia is found throughout the entire area in which the genus is encountered.

The species of this genus often appear in collections of native orchids brought to Manila by the local collectors from many areas of Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite Province. These are epiphytic and are usually found in drier areas of the low altitude regions.

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