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This genus is accepted, and its native range is E. & SE. Australia.

[A-EM]
Ecology

Two of the species are epiphytes at 0–1300 m. Plectorrhiza brevilabris (F.Muell.) Dockrill is widespread in Queensland and northern New South Wales in rain forest on trees and small shrubs (Jones 2006). Plectorrhiza tridentata (Lindl.) Dockrill is common along almost the entire eastern Australian coast in humid rainforest, on tree branches and outer twigs, especially in deep gullies and along creeks and in swamps. Large plants are often suspended by a large mass of tangled roots. There are occasional natural hybrids with Sarcochilus species (Peter Adams, unpublished). The third species, Plectorrhiza erecta (Fitzg.) Dockrill, grows on rocks or occasionally as a terrestrial or epiphyte in dense shade at 0–800 m on Lord Howe Island.

General Description

Epiphytic or occasionally lithophytic, rarely terrestrial herbs. Roots many, often tangled. Stem pendent or erect. Leaves oblong, narrowly ovate, elliptic or narrowly ovate, obtuse, acute or acuminate, sometimes unequally emarginate, persistent. Inflorescence racemose, usually few-flowered; peduncle and rachis wiry; floral bracts minute. Flowers resupinate, lasting longer than two days, strongly fragrant. Sepals and petals free, similar in length, spreading. Labellum rigidly joined to apex of column foot, either in line with foot or at a right angle to it, saccate, spurred, trilobed; disc not readily differentiated from spur and midlobe, side lobes not in contact with column or column foot, variously shaped, midlobe not readily differentiated from front wall of spur, appearing to be an extension of it, variously shaped; spur either subcylindical and curved slightly forward or hemispherical, a digitiform or claviform callus covered with trichomes arising from its distal side close to orifice and directed toward its apex. Column without wings, column foot less than half the length of column proper, not readily differentiated from it; anther cap shallow, pollinia four, in two unequal, closely appressed pairs, stipe longer than wide, viscidium set at an acute angle to stipe; rostellum beaked, porrect or slightly upcurved, apex bifid.

Distribution

The three species of Plectorrhiza are distributed in temperate and tropical eastern Australia (northern Queensland to eastern Victoria), with P. erecta (Fitzg.) Dockrill endemic to Lord Howe Island.

[A-EM]
General Description

Epiphytic herbs. Stem up to 3 cm long. Leaves 3–6, linear, often falcate. Inflorescence racemose, 2–4 cm long, 4–8-flowered; peduncle about same length as rachis; rachis flexuous; floral bracts minute. Flowers 5–6 mm long, resupinate, green heavily blotched purple, pleasantly scented, lasting for about two days. Sepals and petals free. Dorsal sepal ovate, concave, lateral sepals falcate-subovate, asymmetric, shortly clawed, obtuse. Petals falcate-subovate, asymmetric, acute. Labellum rigidly joined to base of column, saccate, spurred, trilobed, side lobes erect, incurved in front, sublunate, distally narrowly triangular or tooth-like, midlobe concave-deltoid, the walls thick, the thick floor produced backwards part way across and connate to sides of anterior section of spur entrance as a thick, downcurved, deeply bifid callus, with divergent arms; spur cylindrical, compressed anterior-posteriorly, without interior calli or septa. Column slender at base, dilated above, column foot absent, wings absent; pollinia four, in two closely appressed, subequal pairs, stipe lorate, viscidium set at an acute angle to stipe; stigma deeply set; rostellum downcurved, apex bifid.

Distribution

Schistotylus is monospecific and endemic to Australia (southern Queensland and northern New South Wales).

Ecology

Schistotylus purpuratus is a twig epiphyte, localized on shrubs in humid areas of wet sclerophyll and other drier forests, on slopes and ridges, and on Leptospermum J.R.Forst. & G.Forst. (Myrtaceae) in sclerophyll forest at 600–1000 m.

[A-EM]
Distribution

Papillilabium is monospecific and confined to Australia (southern Queensland and northern New South Wales).

Ecology

Papillilabium beckleri is a twig epiphyte up to 1000 m, especially common as populations overhanging watercourses along humid, well-lit rain forest margins and growing on sclerophyll shrubs.

General Description

Epiphytic herbs. Stem up to 4 cm long, but usually much shorter. Leaves 2–6, linear, acute. Inflorescence racemose, 1–4 cm long, 3–8-flowered; peduncle and rachis equal. Flowers 5–7 mm across, resupinate, green, sometimes marked purplish brown or crimson, labellum white, green or greenish yellow, strongly fragrant, lasting longer than one day. Dorsal sepal free. Lateral sepals adnate to base of column foot, falcate-oblong. Petals falcate- linear. Labellum rigidly joined to apex of column foot, trilobed, spurred; disc papillose, the papillae extending into spur, side lobes crescent-shaped, free portion spreading, subdeltoid, obtuse, midlobe decurved, bifid or emarginate; spur 2.0–2.5 mm long, dilated in proximal half with distal half cylindrical when viewed from the front, obtuse to almost truncate, posterior wall formed by column foot, ecallose, anterior wall papillose near mouth. Column 1.5 mm long, erect, not winged, column foot in line with column, 2.0–2.5 mm long; anther cap reniform, with a rostrum deflexed at a right angle, pollinia four, obovoid, in two closely appressed, subequal pairs, stipe about 1. times as long as pollinia, slightly dilated near apex, curling and twisting after removal from rostellum, viscidium ovate; stigma deeply set, rostellum decurved.

[A-EM]
Use

Plectorrhiza tridentata is common in cultivation in Australia and used in hybridization to produce small plants with brightly coloured flowers; some intergeneric miniature hybrids have been produced using P. erecta. Other species are grown occasionally.

[A-EM]
Use

No uses have been reported for Schistotylus; it is rare in cultivation.

[A-EM]
Use

No uses have been reported for Papillilabium; it is rare in cultivation.

Native to:

New South Wales, Norfolk Is., Queensland, Victoria

Plectorrhiza Dockrill appears in other Kew resources:

First published in Australas. Sarcanthinae: 27 (1967)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-71827. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Pridgeon, A.M., Cribb, P.J., Chase, M.C. & Rasmussen, F.N. (2014). Genera Orchidacearum 6: 1-544. Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford.

Aeridinae: e-monocot.org
All Rights Reserved

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0