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POLYSTACHIA


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


VERY FEW ORCHID SPECIES ARE WIDELY DISTRIBUTED THROUGH out the world; in fact, it is the general characteristic of this tremendous family that the species are confined to a restricted area and that even the general are usually indigenous to either the Eastern or Western Hemisphere but seldom to both.

Polystachia, however, is a widely distributed genus with about one hundred species reported from Africa, tropical America, India, and the Malay Archipelago. Also this genus includes one species P.luteola which is distributed throughout the world being reported from Florida, Mexico, Ceylon, the Philippines, as well as numerous other tropical locations.

The wide distribution of P.luteola makes it an interesting species and consequently it has been extensively described in orchid literature. Because it has been reported from many different areas by numerous authorities, it has also received a number of synonymous names among which are Epipendrum Minutum, Dendrobium polystachyon and Cronichis lutella. In addition, there are ten to fifteen others. The plant is variable but grows from six to twelve inches tall and has an erect flower stalk which originates from the top of the thickened stem. The four to ten leaves are lance-shaped and four to six inches long. The flowers, which are arranged in loose clusters, are yellow in color and about one-quarter of an inch across and the species flower from April to September.

The genus was established by Hooker in 1824 and the generic name, Polystachia, refers to the many spikelets of small clusters characteristic to the genus while the specific name, luteola, describes the pale color of the flower of this species.



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