Tuatara: Volume 4, Issue 1, July 1951
Checklist of the New Zealand Orchids — Together with a Key to the Genera and Species, and Some Notes on Their Distribution
Checklist of the New Zealand Orchids
Together with a Key to the Genera and Species, and Some Notes on Their Distribution
Orchids are queer plants. They have a fascination entirely out of proportion to their size, usefulness or beauty. To the botanist this fascination is largely due to their amazing powers of adapting themselves to their environment and pollinating agents. I suppose the Orchidaceae are the largest family of flowering plants in the world — upwards of 20,500 species having been recorded. In spite of their infinite variety they are singularly rare plants and outside of the tropics, comparatively insignificant.
The Australian element in the New Zealand flora is more pronounced in the Orchidaceae than in any other group of our flowering plants. Of the 22 genera, 19 occur in Australia and 2 more are derived from Australian forms. Of the 80 odd species, 34, almost half, are common Australian plants. When we come to study the distribution patterns in the flora three trends stand out clearly —
(i) The south-to-north trend. The available evidence leads us to believe that a continental area, existing during Cretaceous times, extended considerably to the south of the present position of New Zealand and also threw a northward arm to Tasmania. From this palæozelanic continent (which is not to be confused with Antarctica) came Thelymitra and Pterostylis.
(ii) The overland trend. This began in Asia and came by way of Malaya, Java, New Guinea, New Caledonia and Lord Howe Island and brought us the truly Asiatic genera Corybas, Gastrodia, Spiranthes, Microtis, Dendrobium, Bulbophyllum, Sarcochilus. (Earina, originating in New Caledonia, probably came by this route also.)
(iii) There is a distinctly powerful, probably windborne, west-to-east trend, which still brings East African orchids to Western Australia, Eastern Australian orchids to New Caledonia and New Zealand, and from thence to the Chathams and Polynesia. This gave us the Australia-originating genera Caladenia, Lyperanthus, Chiloglottis, Townsonia, Adenochilus, Acianthus, Orthoceras, Prasophyllum, Caleana and Calochilus, and in page 29 addition odd Australian species of genera which normally arrived by other routes, viz Pterostylis, Corybas, Gastrodia, Microtis and Thelymitra.
(iv) And lastly of course the tendency to local differentiation which produced Petalochilus from Caladenia, and Aporostylis from a combination of Caladenia and Chiloglottis, and which led and is still leading, to the endemic forms in the larger genera.
The New Zealand genera belong to 2 tribes of the subfamily Monandrae. Garay arranges them thus —
|"||Caladenieae||Caladenia, Petalochilus, Lyperanthus, Adenochilus, Aporostylis|
Key to New Zealand Orchids
In order to follow the keys it is necessary to have some knowledge of the peculiarities of the orchid flower. It must be stressed that what follows applies only to the subfamily Monandrae. Theoretically such a flower consists of 15 segments in 5 whorls of 3. In each whorl 2 of the segments are paired and the third usually different in form or function or both.
Whorl (1) — 3 styles, each capped by its stigma, confluent to form a single structure (column) in the centre of the flower. 2 of the stigmas are paired and combine to form the stigmatic plate on the front of the column. The third stigma is modified to form the rostellum and appears at the top of the column.
Left: Diagrammatic section through Pterostylis flower. Right: through column of Thelymitra flower. A — anther; AC — anther connective; C — column; CW — column wings; DS — dorsal sepal; L — labellum; LL — lateral (secondary) lobe of column wing (only partly shown); LS — lateral sepals; ML — midlobe of column wings; P — petal; R — rostellum; S — stigma.
whorl (3) — 3 stamens, 2 of them paired and confluent with the labellum to form the various labellar calli, the third (the only fertile stamen in the Monandrae) confluent (usually, not in Thelymitra) with the back of the column and carrying the 2-celled anther, which overtops, and usually rests on the rostellum.
Whorl (4) — 3 petals, 2 of them paired, the third (labellum) rarely similar (Thelymitra, Petalochilus), usually much modified to form an attractive landing-stage for insects.
Whorl (5) — 3 sepals, 2 of them paired, the third (dorsal) sometimes similar, usually much enlarged, its main, purpose being to canopy the anther.
Key to Genera
|1||Epiphytic on trees or rocks, rarely on the ground, roots exposed, stems numerous||— 2|
|Terrestial, with orbicular or oblong tubers or fleshy rhizomes, stems solitary||— 3|
|2||Stems succulent, erect, leaves oblong-ovate, flowers several, minute||Sarcochilus adversus|
|Stems woody, drooping, leaves narrow-acute, stiff||— 4|
|Stems creeping, matted, leaves small on prominent pseudobulbs||Bulbophyllum|
|4||Flowers small, white, numerous in a terminal raceme||Earina|
|Flowers large, white, solitary or in pairs||Dendrobium cunninghamii|
|3||Leaf solitary, attached to the peduncle||— 5|
|Leaf solitary, separate from the peduncle||— 6|
|Leaves more than one||— 7|
|Leaves absent, rhizome fleshy||Gastrodia|
|5||Leaf tubular, enclosing the greater part of the stem||— 13|
|Leaf narrow-linear, more or less concave||— 8|
|Leaf oblong, orbicular or cordiform||— 9|
|13||Flowers with the dorsal sepal uppermost||Microtis|
|Flowers with the labellum uppermost (inverted)||Prasophyllum|
|8||Flowers regular, all the segments more or less alike||Thelymitra|
|Flowers irregular||— 10|
|10||Flowers with a large bearded labellum||Calochilus|
|Flowers when open shaped uncannily like a flying duck||Caleana minor|
|Labellum 3-lobed, column not enclosed, column-wings free||Caladenia|
|Labellum petaloid, column enclosed by the fusion of the column wings||Petalochilus|
|9||Flowers several on a slender peduncle||Acianthus|
|Flowers solitary, sessile on the leaf||Corybas|
|6||Labellum entire, stem bract solitary||Townsonia viridis|
|Labellum 3-lobed, stem bracts two||Adenochilus gracilis|
|7||Leaves two||— 11|
|Leaves more than two||— 12|
|11||One leaf obviously larger than the other, flowers white||Aporostylis bifolia|
|Both leaves the same size, flowers green||Chiloglottis|
|12||Leaves in a rosette round the base of the stem, narrow-concave, acuminate, flowers large, dark||Orthoceras strctum|
|Leaves in a rosette round the base of the stem, narrow- to broad-linear, flowers white, arranged spirally in the raceme||Spiranthes sinensis|
|Leaves either in a rosette or scattered up the stem or both, flowers large, green, conspicuously hooded||Pterostylis|
|Leaves linear-acute, scattered up the stem||Lyperanthus antarcticus|
Key to the Species
|1||Labellum filiform-terete, plumose||barbata|
|Labellum laminate, without a basal callus||— 2|
|Labellum laminate, with a basal callus||irsoniana|
|2||Labellar appendage entire, flowers several||mutica|
|Labellar appendage pencillate, flowers normally solitary||— 33|
|Labellum acuminate||— 4|
|Labellum linear-oblong||— 5|
|4||Leaves in a rosette, flower conspicuously drooping||nutans|
|Rosette only present in the juvenile, mature leaves varying from orbicular-petiolate to bracteate-sessile||— 6|
|6||Leaves 2-3, subrosulate, ovate||venosa|
|Leaves numerous, polymorphous||— 7|
|7||Lateral sepals with an emarginate central lobe||— 8|
|Lateral sepals with an acute, unlobed sinus||trullifolia alobula|
|8||Petiolate leaves with the veining conspicuously embossed||trullifolia gracilis|
|Petiolate leaves with a smooth upper surface||trullifolia rubella|
|5||Upper third of labellum symmetrically twisted, entire||— 9|
|Labellum-tip flat, entire or emarginate||— 10|
|Labellum-tip unevenly constricted||— 11|
|9||Flower large, leaves subrosulate, more or less ovate||furcata typica|
|Flower small, leaves cauline, linear-lanceolate||furcata linearis|
|10||Leaves in a rosette, lateral sepals with an inflexed lobe||nana|
|Leaves strictly cauline, lateral sepals with an acute sinus||— 12|
|Leaves both subrosulate and cauline||— 13|
|12||Plant very slender, sepalar caudae very short||graminea|
|Plant robust, sepalar caudae very long||— 14|
|14||Dorsal cauda suberect, lateral caudae spreading, erect||banksii typica|
|Dorsal sepal incurved, lateral caudae strongly recurved||banksii patens|
|13||Flower large, dorsal sepal filiform-caudate, incurved||oliveri|
|Flower small, dorsal sepal acuminate, horizontal||areolata|
|11||Leaves rosulate, stigma globose||humilis|
|Leaves subrosulate, stigma linear||foliata|
|Leaves strictly cauline||— 15|
|15||Labellum reddish, lateral sepals caudate, erect||australis|
|Labellum greenish, lateral sepals acuminate||montana typica|
|Labellum brownish, lateral sepals caudate, spreading||montana rubricaulis|
|1||Midlobe absent, lateral lobes primary||— 2|
|Midlobe present, lateral lobes secondary||— 3|
|2||Lobes simple, without appendages||— 4|
|4||Lobes very large, oblong-falcate, fleshy (leaf expanded at the base then abruptly constricted)||matthewsii|
|Lobes acuminate, spirally involute, erect, entire||— 5|
|Lobes acuminate, hardly involute, recumbent, bifid||venosa cyanea|
a — Corybas saprophyticus Hh. type specimen; b — seeding peduncle; c — labellum from above; d — column from above; e — column from side; f — column from front; g — column from side with column-wings removed to show anther-connective and anther-cells. The leaf is rudimentary. In (a) it is seen below the labellum, in (b) at the base of the peduncle. Only the upper half of the peduncle shows above the surface, the flower being completely buried. A comparison with its nearest relative, rivularis, (Trans. R.S.N.Z. 76.1947.t61) shows the similarities and differences quite clearly.
|5||Lobes shorter than the anther, labellum sepaloid||venosa cedricsmithii|
|Lobes higher than the anther, labellum crenulate and repand||venosa typica|
|3||Midlobe crested, secondary lobes without cilia (stem flexuose, leaf terete, flowers creamy-red)||carnea imberbis|
|Midlobe crested, secondary lobes with cilia||- 6|
|Midlobe not crested, secondary lobes usually with cilia||— 7|
|6||Crest of tall calli (sepals spotted with brown)||ixioides typica|
|Crest denticulate (sepals not spotted) raceme in bud resembling an ear of wheat||aemula|
|7||Midlobe erect, shorter than the anther, secondary cilia white (flowers pink) longifolia intermedia|
|Midlobe erect, higher than the anther, secondary cilia yellow||— 8|
|Midlobe cucullate, secondary cilia where present, white||— 9|
|8||Midlobe apiculate, dark brown caesia Midlobe emarginate, pinkish-yellow||pachyphylla|
|Midlobe sinuate, black (with small darker tubercles just below the top, sepals spotted with brown)||decora|
|9||Midlobe truncate or emarginate||— 10|
|Midlobe deeply bifid, yellow, secondary lobes with cilia||pauciflora|
|Midlobe deeply bifid, green, secondary lobes without cilia||sanscilia|
|10||Tip of midlobe faced with yellow or white||— 11|
|Tip of midlobe dark all over||aristata|
|11||Secondary cilia very dense, short||longifolia forsteri|
|Secondary cilia rather lax, long||longifolia stenopetala|
|1||Column with a dark callus on either side at the base||— 2|
|Column with no basal calli||paludosus|
|2||Basal calli connected with a conspicuous coloured ridge||robertsoni|
|Basal calli connected with a broken line of irregular reddish splashes campestris|
|1||Labellum sessile, lamina reddish-green||— 2|
|Labellum on a very short rigid claw, lamina broad, white, margins prominently crenulate||suttonii|
|Labellum on a narrow, movable claw||— 3|
|2||Margins of labellum flat, callus pale, extending only to the curve||rogersii|
|Margins undulate, callus green, extending almost to the tip||colensoi|
|3||Labellum green, mucronate, margins entire, callus of several inconspicuous ridges||pumilum|
|Labellum dark red, acuminate, margins ciliate at the tip, callus with a prominent linear cleft||nudum|
|1||Labellum emarginate, with three callosities, two at the base and one atthe tip||unifolia|
|2||Labellum entire, with the two basal callosities only||parviflora|
|1||Plant robust, flower almost sessile||cornuta|
|2||Plant very slender, flower on a long peduncle||formicifera|
|1||Labellum with 4 rows of calli||lyallii|
|Labellum with 2 rows of calli||— 2|
|2||Midlobe with several marginal calli, flowers white, green or pink||carnea minor|
|Midlobe with only one large marginal callus, flowers pink||carnea exigua|
|Midlobe with no marginal calli, flowers dark glazed mauve||carnea bartletti|
|1||Column-base with a staminoid appendage||calyciformis|
|2||Column-base without a staminoid appendage||saccatus|
|1||Leaf cauline, cordate, labellum ovate-acuminate, concave, Petals much shorter than the sepals||fornicatus sinclairii|
|2||Leaf basal, oblong. Labellum linear-oblong, flat. Petals as long as the sepals||reniformis oblongus|
|1||Lateral sepals and petals shorter than the labellum, minute or wanting||2|
|Lateral sepals and petals elongated into filiform caudae||— 4|
|2||Labellum with 2 conical spurs at the base||aconitiflorus|
|Labellum with 2 rounded auricles at the base||— 3|
|3||Calli confined to the median line of the labellum||unguiculatus|
|Calli spreading on either side of the median line||carsei|
|4||Labellum fimbriate, distal portion tubular, leaf reddish||oblongus|
|Labellum not fimbriate, distal portion expanded, leaf silvery||— 5|
|5||Subterranean, flowers borne beneath the surface, leaf bracteate||saprophyticus|
|Terrestial, flowers borne normally, leaf expanded||- 6|
|6||Dorsal sepal filiform-caudate, leaf acuminate||rivularis|
|Dorsal sepal acuminate, leaf mucronate||— 7|
|Dorsal sepal orbicular-concave, emarginate, leaf trilobate||trilobus|
|7||Petals hardly a third as long as the lateral sepals, labellum apiculate, obtuse or emarginate, dorsal sepal horizontal or recurved||macranthus typicus|
|Petals as long as or longer than the lateral sepals, labellum with an acuminate lobe, dorsal sepal incurved||macranthus longipetalus|
|1||Column longer than the labellum||sesamoides|
|Column very much shorter than the labellum||— 2|
|2||Column-wings involute, labellum clawed at the base||cunninghamii|
|Column-wings straight, erect, labellum broad at the base||minor|
|1||Labellum sessile, bifid, without calli||mucronata|
|2||Labellum clawed, entire, with basal calli||autumnalis|
|1||Peduncles long, 2-4 flowered, labellum orange||tuberculatum|
|2||Peduncles short, flowers solitary, labellum white||pygmaeum|
- Acuminate — gradually narrowing to a point from a broad base.
- Apiculate — a blunt apex with a contrasting hair-like continuation.
- Auricle — a small ear-like opening on either side of the base of the labellum in Corybas.
- Bract — a small leaf terminating each successive internode of the stem, serving to protect the meristem during growth. Different species develop differently. A structure which appears as a minute bract in one species may be a large leaf in another, and vice versa.
- Callosity — a very small, often vague callus.
- Callus — a small, often coloured protuberance, variously wart-, club-, hair-, or spindle-shaped, usually on column or labellum and probably designed to attract insects.
- Cauda — a tail-like elongation of the sepals or petals.
- Cauline — attached to the stem.
- Cilia — hair-like processes (particularly in Thelymitra) terminating the lobes of the column-wings.
- Crenulate — margins both indented and sinuate.
- Cucullate — overhanging, forming a canopy.
- Emarginate — with a definite notch at the apex.
- Falcate — scythe-shaped.
- Laminate — flat and expanded.
- Mucronate — with a short sharp point.
- Penicillate — terminating in a tuft of cilia.
- Pseudobulb — a globular swelling at the base of the leaf in Bulbophyllum.
- Repand — margins sinuate but entire.
- Rosulate — with the leaves arranged in a flat whorl round the base of the stem.
- Secondary Cilia — cilia of the secondary lobes of the column wing in Thelymitra.
- Sinus — the variously lobed angle between conjoined lateral sepals.
- Subrosulate — leaves in a whorl, but more or less erect.
- Terete — more or less circular in section.
In the following list I have given the currently valid names of all the New Zealand species, together with the correct citation and the journal in which the name first appeared in that particular combination. An asterisk before a name indicates that the species (but not necessarily the variety in compound species) also occurs in Australia.
Thelymitra J. R. and G. Forst.
Calochilus R.Br.page 39
Aporostylis Rupp & Hh.
The following list of papers containing revised descriptions and illustrations of the New Zealand orchids will probably be useful.
Trans.R.S.N.Z. 75.1945.367-370 — Corybas, Caladenia, Acianthus, Prasophyllum, Pterostylis.
" 76.1946.58-60 — check list of species common to Australia and New Zealand.
" 76.1947.289-293 — Prasophyllum.
" 76.1947.572-573 — Acianthus.
" 76.1947.574-580 — Corybas.
" 77.1949.226-249 — Aporostylis, Townsonia, Chiloglottis, Lyperanthus, Gastrodia, Pterostylis, Calochilus.
" 77.1949.398-402 — Petalochilus, Caladenia.
" 78.1950.101-105 — Dendrobium, Earina, Bulbophyllum, Sarcochilus, Pterostylis.
" in print — Corybas.
" in print — Thelymitra, Adenochilus, Caleana, Orthoceras, Microtis, Spiranthes.
The cover illustration is by E. Mervyn Taylor.