Orchids in North Florida

Notes on Floristic Concordance between sources

These notes are organized based on Orchids documented in the ISB Atlas of Florida Plants (FPA: www.florida.plantatlas.usf.edu) and plants keyed in Wunderlin & Hansen, 2011 (Guide to the Vascular Plants of Florida, Third Edition).  The names are coordinated with those given in Luer, 1972 (The Native Orchids of Florida)  and Clewell, 1985 (Guide to the Vascular Plants of the Florida Panhandle). Assignment to Subfamilies, broken down by Tribe, Subtribe, is based on Wikipedia entries, 2022

ID Quick Pics for North Florida Orchids:

Leaves absent during flowering: Tipularia, Corallorhiza, Hexalectris
Leafless (myco-heterotrophic, i.e. saprophytic):  Corallorhiza, Hexalectris
Leaves two, in mature, flowering plant: Neottia (Listera - leaves opposite), Malaxis spicata (leaves alternating)
Leaves plicate:  Bletilla, Orthochilus
Epiphytic:  Epidendrum
Flower terminal & solitary: Pogonia (Incl: Cleistesiopsis, Isotria)
Flowers secund or twisted-secund (spiraling) on a tight spike, white or pale yellow to greenish: Spiranthes
Flowers like a red or bronze Spiranthes:  Sacoila
Labellum uppermost in flower:  Ponthieva, Calopogon, & Malaxis spicata
Labellum spurred:  Habenaria, Platanthera, Tipularia
Labellum saccate: Goodyera, Platythelis

Subfamily: Orchidoideae  – a single, fertile, divided anther (in Florida plants)with mealy (sectile) pollen

Tribe: Cranichideae, Subtribe: Cranichidinae

Ponthieva racemosa, Hairy Shadow Witch, Luer: P. racemosa, Clewell: P. racemosa,“North, Central, South Hammocks.  One of few North Florida native orchids with the labellum uppermost – see also Calopogon.

Tribe: Cranichideae, Subtribe: Goodyerinae

Goodyera pubescens, Downy Rattlesnake Plantain, Clewell: G. pubescens, North (Liberty Co.)

Platythelys (Aspidogyne?) latifolia, Jug Orchid, Luer: Erythrodes querciticola, Clewell: Erythrodes querciticola

Zeuxine strateumatica, Soldier’s Orchid, Luer: Z. strateumatica, Clewell: Z. strateumatica, Statewide, Exotic

Tribe: Cranichideae, Subtribe: Spiranthinae 

Mesadenus lucayanus (Spiranthes lucayana) Florida Keys Ladiestresses, Luer: Spiranthes polyantha

Sacoila lanceolata, Leafless Beaked Ladiestresses Luer: Spiranthes lanceolata

Spiranthes:  North Florida Spiranthes are identified as terrestrials producing simple spikes with numerous white (or varyingly green to pale yellow), secund, often spiraling flowers, each flower having a spurless, non-saccate labellum (lip). 

“The genus Spiranthes Rich. (Orchidaceae) has long presented a significant taxonomic and identification challenge: many of its currently accepted 35 species exhibit marked phenotypic variation at both local and continental scales, and hybridization has traditionally been thought to be pervasive. Furthermore, cryptic speciation has been documented in the group, a few species exhibit polyploidy and apomixis, the species status of some taxa is questionable, incomplete lineage sorting is likely a reality in the group, and taxonomic inflation by certain authors is a troublesome issue.“ Pace & Cameron, 2017

Spiranthes cernua, Nodding Ladiestresses, Luer: S. cernua, Clewell: S. cernua, North (Liberty Co., rare)  Autumn to early-Winter flowering. “Based on the work of Catling and Sheviak, S. cernua is traditionally understood to be a facultatively agamospermic polyploid ‘compilospecies’ (2n = 45, 60; sensu Harlan and de Wet 1963) that freely hybridizes with all other species in the S. cernua species complex.” M. C. Pace & K. M. Cameron, 2017. The Systematics of the Spiranthes cernua Species Complex (Orchidaceae): Untangling the Gordian Knot

Spiranthes brevilabris Texas Ladiestresses, Luer: S. brevilabris

Spiranthes floridana, Florida Ladiestresses, Luer: S. gracilis, Clewell: S. gracilis, North, Central

Spiranthes lacera in FPA  Luer: S. brevilabris

Spiranthes laciniata, Lacelip Ladiestresses, Luer: S. laciniata, Clewell: S. laciniata, Statewide

Spiranthes longilabris, Giant Spiral Ladiestresses, Luer: S. longilabris, Clewell: S. longilabris, North to Central.  Fall-flowering.

Spiranthes odorata, Fragrant Ladiestresses, Luer: S. cernua v. odorata, Clewell: S. cernua v. odorata, Statewide.  Autumn-flowering

Spiranthes ovalis, October Ladiestresses, Luer: S. ovalis, Clewell: S. ovalis, North to Central. Fall-flowering.

Spiranthes ovalis v. erostellata, Lesser Ladiestresses, North (Liberty, Columbia, Sumter Cos.)

Spiranthes praecox, Greenvein Ladiestresses, Luer: S. praecox, Clewell: S. praecox, Statewide

Spiranthes sylvatica, Woodland Ladiestresses, North to Central

Spiranthes triloba in FPA

Spiranthes tuberosa, Little Ladiestresses, Luer: S. grayii, Clewell: S. tuberosa, North, Central

Spiranthes vernalis, Spring Ladiestresses, Luer: S. vernalis, Clewell: S vernalis, Statewide

Spiranthes ×itchetuckneensis, North (Wakulla Co.)

Spiranthes ×meridionalis, North to Central

Tribe: Orchideae, Subtribe: Orchidinae

Habenaria floribunda in FPA

Habenaria quinqueseta, Longhorn Habenaria, Luer; H. quinqueseta, Clewell: H. quinqueseta, North (Leon & Sta Rosa Cos.)

Habenaria repens, Waterspider Habenaria, Luer: H. repens, Clewell: H. repens, Statewide

Platanthera blephariglottis, White-Fringed Orchid, Luer: P. blephariglottis, Clewell: P. blephariglottis, North to Central

Platanthera chapmanii, Chapman’s Orchid, Luer:  P. ×chapmanii, North

Platanthera ciliaris,Yellow-Fringed Orchid, Luer: P. ciliaris, Clewell: P. ciliaris, North, to Central

Platanthera cristata, Crested-Fringed Orchid, Luer: P. cristata, Clewell: P. cristata, North to Central

Platanthera flava, Gypsy Spikes, Luer: P. flava, Clewell: P. flava, North to Central

Platanthera integra,Yellow-Fringeless Orchid, Luer: P. integra, Clewell: P. integra, North to Central

Platanthera (Habenaria) nivea, Snowy Orchid, Luer: Platanthera nivea, Clewell: Platanthera nivea, Statewide

Platanthera ×bicolor, Luer: P. ×bicolor, North

Platanthera ×canbyi, Luer: P. ×canbyi, North

Platanthera ×channellii, North

Subfamily: Vanilloideae – single incumbent, but loosely-knit anther (15 genera)

Tribe: Vanilleae, Subtribe: Pogoniinae

Cleistesiopsis (Pogonia) divaricata, Rosebud Orchid, Luer: Cleistes divaricata, Clewell: Cleistes divaricata, North

Cleistesiopsis oriocamporum, Fragrant Pogonia, in FPA = misapplied name: Pogonia (Cleistesiopsis) bifaria, Fernald’s Pogonia, North to Central

Isotria (Pogonia) verticillata, Whorled Pogonia, Luer: Isotria verticillata, Clewell: Isotria verticillata, North

Pogonia ophioglossoides, Rose Pogonia, Luer: P. ophioglossoides, Clewell: P. ophioglossoides, North to Central

Subfamily: Epidendroideae– a single, incumbent & highly structured anther, with solid pollinia (most orchid species, nearly 600 genera in 16 tribes)

Tribe: Arethuseae, Subtribe: Arethusinae

Calopogon barbatus, Bearded Grasspink, Luer: C. barbatus, Clewell: C. barbatus, Statewide

Calopogon multiflorus, Many-Flowered Grasspink, Luer: C. multiflorus, Clewell: C. multiflorus, North to Central [http://natureinfocus.com/natural-encounters/in-search-of-the-many-flowered-grasspink-orchid/ ]

Calopogon pallidus, Pale Grasspink, Luer: C. pallidus, Clewell: C. pallidus, Statewide, described by Chapman

Calopogon tuberosus,Tuberous Grasspink, Luer: C. tuberosus, Clewell: C. tuberosus, Statewide

Tribe: Arethuseae, Subtribe: Coelogyninae

Bletilla striata, Urn Orchid, North (Escambia Co.), Exotic,

Tribe: Neottieae, Subtribe: Neottinae

Neottia bifolia (Listera australis),Twayblade, Luer: Listeria australis, Clewell: L. australis, North (Leon, Wakulla, Jefferson Cos.) https://awesomenativeplants.info/photo_galleries/photo_pages/listera_australis.html 

Tribe: Triphoreae, Subtribe: Triphorinae

Triphora rickettii (syn to T. yucatanensis), Rickett’s Noddingcaps, Luer: T. rickettii, North to Central

Triphora,trianthophoros (trianthophoro),Threebirds, Luer: T. trianthophora, North to Central  Flowers in a population open synchronously, for only 6 hours on one day. (NAOCC) http://jfowlerphotography.com/?p=3733  

Tribe: Malaxideae, Subtribe: Malaxidinae

Malaxis spicata, Florida Addersmouth Orchid, Luer: M. spicata, Clewell: M. spicata, North (Wakulla) to Central Note: Individual flowers twist 360 degrees (making the lip non-resupinate), untwisting at fruiting. (georgiabiodiversity.org): https://georgiabiodiversity.org/natels/profile?es_id=20373)

Malaxis,unifolia, Green Addersmouth Orchid, Luer; M. unifolia, Clewell: M. unifolia, North (Wakulla, Liberty) to Central  [http://www.missouriplants.com/Malaxis_unifolia_page.html “this is an easy plant to ID however, as nothing else in our flora resembles it.”

Tribe: Cymbidieae, Subtribe: Eulophiinae

Eulophia graminea in FPA (only South FL in Wunderlin & Hansen) – Exotic

Orthochilus (Pteroglossaspis) ecristata, Luer: Eulophia ecristata, Clewell: Eulophia ecristata, Statewide, hammocks [https://georgiabiodiversity.org/natels/profile?es_id=18632 ] Orthochilus is mostly Old World, differing from Eulophia in having similar tepals, as contrasted with the variance of those in Eulophia.

Tribe: Epidendreae, Subtribe: Bletiinae

Hexalectris (Bletia) spicata, Crested (Spiked) Coralroot, Luer: Hexalectris spicata, Clewell: H. spicata, North to Central [https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/plant-of-the-week/hexalectris_spicata.shtml ]

Tribe: Epidendreae, Subtribe: Calypsoinae

Corallorhiza odontorhiza,Autumn Coralroot, Luer: C. odontorhiza, Clewell: C. odontorhiza, North, rare Colombia Co. rare, (syn to Chapman’s Corallorhiza micrantha)

Corallorhiza wisteriana, Spring Coralroot, Luer; C. wisteriana, Clewell: C. wisteriana, North to Central

Tipularia discolor, Crippled Cranefly Orchid, Luer: T. discolor, Clewell: T. discolor, North, to Central

Tribe: Epidendreae, Subtribe: Laeliinae

Epidendrum conopseum, (also listed as Epidendrum magnoliae, which according to FPA is a nomen nudum) Green-Fly Orchid, Luer: E. conopseum, Clewell: E. conopseum, North to Central, epiphytic in hammocks [https://georgiabiodiversity.org/natels/profile?es_id=22327 ]

Not Known in Florida:

Subfamily: Apostasioideae – 2 or 3 fertile anthers, on stalked, filamentous staminode (2 genera in Asia & Australasia)

Subfamily: Cypripedoideae – 2 fertile anthers, on a shield-shaped staminodium, with a slipper-lip, (5 genera, Cypripedium, etc.)  It is possible the most southerly Cypripedium could be encountered, of might be naturalized at some point.

Summary of North Florida Genera in Current Orchid Hierarchy:

  • Apostasioideae – Asian & Australasian, unknown in FL
  • Cypripedoideae – Unknown in FL, but could be encountered as extant or introduced
  • Orchidoideae
    • Tribe: Cranichideae
      • Subtribe – Cranichidinae: Ponthieva
      • Subtribe – Goodyerinae: Goodyera, Platythelis (Erythrodes), Zeuxine
      • Subtribe – Spiranthinae: Mesadenus, Sacoila, Spiranthes
    • Tribe: Orchideae
      • Subtribe: Orchidinae: Habenaria, Platanthera
  • Vanilloideae
    • Tribe:  Vanilleae
      • Subtribe – Pogoniinae: Pogonia, Cleistesiopsis, Isotria, Triphora
  • Epidendroideae
    • Tribe: Arethuseae
      • Subtribe –  Arethusinae: Calopogon
      • Subtribe – Coelogyninae: Bletilla
    • Tribe: Neottieae
      • Subtribe – Neottinae: Neottia (Listera)
    • Tribe: Triphoreae
      • Subtribe -Triphorinae: Triphora
    • Tribe: Malaxideae
      • Subtribe – Malaxidinae: Malaxis
  • (Higher Epidendroideae)
    • Tribe: Cymbidieae
      • Subtribe – Eulophiinae: Eulophia,* Orthochilus
    • Tribe: Epidendreae
      • Subtribe – Bletiinae: Hexalectris (Bletia)
      • Subtribe – Calypsoinae: Corallorhiza, Tipularia
      • Subtribe – Laeliinae: Epidendrum
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