Cleistes

Richard ex Lindley

Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl.,409. 1840

Common names: Spreading pogonia
Etymology: Greek kleistos, closed, alluding to lip and petals that diverge only near apex, forming tube for most of their length, the flower thus appearing closed
Found in FNA Volume 26. Treatment on page 510. Mentioned on page 492, 498, 511.
Herbs, terrestrial. Roots 1–2 mm wide, sometimes with wider nodular tuberoids, frequently rather brittle. Leaves 1–3 on vegetative plants, 1(–2) centrally on flowering stems, sessile; blade oblong-lanceolate or elliptic-oblong. Inflorescences terminal,1–3-flowered; floral bracts leaflike. Flowers resupinate, erect, sessile; sepals olive-green, brown, or maroon, linear-lanceolate, apex acuminate; petals rose-pink to white, spatulate or oblanceolate, usually forming tube with lip; lip rose-pink to white, with rose or purple veins, oblanceolate, 3-lobed, middle lobe medially winged or tuberculate, central keel grooved from base to 3/4 its length; column free, white, apex lacerate, truncate; anther terminal, hinged; pollinia 2, without viscidium, soft, mealy; pollen grains in tetrads. Fruits capsules, erect, cylindric.

Distribution

Tropical and subtropical regions, mostly South America, 2 in Central America.

Discussion

Species ca. 25 (2 in the flora).

Authors of some neotropical floras have questioned the separation of Cleistes from Pogonia; most recent North American authors have followed O. Ames (1905–1922) in recognizing Cleistes, and we prefer to do the same until a detailed study suggests otherwise. The two North American species can reproduce asexually by root shoots.

Key

1 Column 13–19 mm; lip 21–33(–38) mm. Cleistes bifaria
1 Column 21–25(–29) mm; lip (26–)34–55 mm. Cleistes divaricata
Facts about "Cleistes"
AuthorKatharine B. Gregg + and Paul M. Catling +
Common nameSpreading pogonia +
EtymologyGreek kleistos, closed, alluding to lip and petals that diverge only near apex, forming tube for most of their length, the flower thus appearing closed +
IllustratorBarbara Alongi +
Referenceames1905a +, catling1992a + and fernald1946b +
Taxon nameCleistes +
Taxon parentOrchidaceae (tribe Vanilleae) subtribe Pogoniinae +
Taxon rankgenus +
VolumeVolume 26 +