Orchid Basics – A Beginner’s Guide to South Australian Orchid Name Usage

For the novice or beginner, orchid names can be a bit overwhelming.  To add to their confusion, the more knowledgeable people tend to use abbreviated terms often switching between common and botanical names & their synonyms.

This week’s post will be a brief introduction to the most common names used for the South Australian orchids and how they relate to each other.  It will not be comprehensive and it will not be a detailed discussion of orchid nomenclature but hopefully it might help the novice learn some of the names in current use.

In the past attempts have been made to split some genera.  Not everyone has agreed with the splits but there are many who find it more convenient  to use the alternate genus when working in the field.  This tends to be the case with the larger genera such as Caladenia, Corybas and Pterostylis.  Unfortunately, this has contributed to the confusion.

The names in this list are compiled from South Australia’s Native Orchids 2011 DVD.  Even with this list the use of the names varies quite a bit with some being used rarely.  Rather than considering each individual species, the list is centred around the genus name.

GENUS

ALTERNATE

GENUS NAME

or

SYNONYM

 

COMMON NAME

Acianthus  

Acianthus

Acianthus Mosquito

Acianthus

Nemacianthus Mayfly
Caladenia  

Caladenia

Caladenia Pink Fairy

Caladenia

Arachnorchis Spider

Caladenia

Jonesiopsis Daddy Longlegs

Wispy Spider

Caladenia

Petalochilus Pink Fingers

Caladenia

Pheladenia Bluebeard

Blue Fairy

Caladenia

Stegostyla Gremlin
Caleana  

Caleana

Caleana Duck

Caleana

Paracaleana Little Duck
Calochilus   Bearded

Beardies

Chiloglottis

Chiloglottis

Chiloglottis Bird

Chiloglottis

Myrmechila Ant

Chiloglottis

Simpliglottis Frog
Corybas  

Corybas

Corybas Helmet

Corybas

Corysanthes Helmet

Corybas

Anyzbas Pelican
Genoplesium Corunastylis Midge
Cryptostylis   Tongue

Moose

Cyrtostylis   Gnat
Dipodium   Hyacinth
Diuris   Donkey
Eriochilus   Parson’s Bands

Autumn Bunnies

Gastrodia   Potato

Cinnamon Bells

Glossodia   Purple Cockatoo

Waxlip

Leporella   Fringed Hare
Leptoceras   Rabbit Ears

Hare Orchid

Microtis  

Microtis

Microtis Onion

Microtis

Hydrorchis Mignonette

Microtis

Microtidium Yellow Onion
Orthoceras   Horned

Crucifix

Prasophyllum   Leek
Pterostylis    

Pterostylis

Pterostylis Greenhood

Pterostylis

Bunochilus Banded Greenhood

Pterostylis

Diplodium Shell

Pterostylis

Hymenochilus Tiny Shell

Pterostylis

Linguella Little Greenhoods

Nana

Pterostylis

Oligochaetochilus Rufoushoods

Pterostylis

Plumatochilos Bearded Greenhood

Pterostylis

Speculantha Tiny Greenhood

Pterostylis

Taurantha Cobra Greenhood

Pterostylis

Urochilus Maroonbanded Greenhood

Sanguinea

Blood Greenhood

Pyrorchis   Fire

Undertaker

Spiranthes   Ladies Tresses

Spiral

Thelymitra   Sun Orchid

A detailed list of SA orchid species names and their synonyms can be found here .

The following are all Pterostylis but not all of them are Greenhoods.  This first image is a Pterostylis Greenhood.

1609-sm-bs-pterostylis-cucullata

Pterostylis cucullata

This one is a Shell Orchid or alternately Diplodium

Diplodium dolichochilum

Diplodium dolichochilum

Whilst this Pterostylis is a Bearded Greenhood or Plumatochilos

09 sm JMcP Plumatochilus sp Woodlands

Plumatichilos sp Woodland Bearded Greenhood

The final Pterostylis example is a Rufoushood, or Oligochaetochilus

Oligochaetochilus arenicolaHL

Typical of the Rufoushood this Oligochaetochilus arenicola shows the sencesing leaves, pendent petals and hairs on the labellum. Photographer: H Lawrence

So they could all be referred to Pterostylis or any of the other possible names whether the common name or a synonym.

Advertisements

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s