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Orchis
Orchis italica a.JPG
Orchis italica
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Subtribe: Orchidinae
Genus: Orchis
Tourn. ex L. 1753
Type species
Orchis militaris
L. Sp. Pl.: 943, 1753
Species

See text

Synonyms
  • Abrochis Neck.
  • Zoophora Bernh.
  • Strateuma Salisb.
  • Aceras R.Br. in W.T.Aiton
  • × Orchiaceras E.G.Camus
  • Androrchis D.Tyteca & E.Klein

Orchis is a genus in the orchid family (Orchidaceae), occurring mainly in Europe and Northwest Africa, and ranging as far as Tibet, Mongolia, and Xinjiang. The name is from the Ancient Greek ὄρχις orchis, meaning "testicle", from the appearance of the paired subterranean tuberoids.

Description

These terrestrial orchids have root tubers instead of pseudobulbs. They are extremely diverse in appearance. They produce an erect stem. The inflorescence is a cylindrical to globular spike, 5–15 cm (2–6 in) long, with yellow, red to purple flowers. They start flowering at the base, slowly progressing upwards, except for the Monkey orchid (Orchis simia), which flowers in reverse order.

The original genus Orchis used to contain more than 1,300 names. Since it was polyphyletic, it has been divided by Pridgeon et al., into several new genera (see Reference): Ponerorchis, Schizodium, Steveniella. They can be found in tropical Rainforest and semi-desert regions, near the seashore and in the tundra. The majority of neotropical orchid species can be found in southern Central America, northwest South America

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