Chủ Nhật, 21 tháng 4, 2013


Leach orchids (genus Stelis) is a large group of orchids, with perhaps 500 species. The generic name Stelis is the Greek word for 'mistletoe', referring to the epiphytic habit of these species.
Many of the older species were named by Lindley, Ruiz & Pavon and Reichenbach, while many of the recent species were named by Dr. C. Luer. An orchid of the genus Stelis was probably the first American orchid ever to be brought to Europe. An herbarium specimen was depicted in 1591 in Tabernaemontanus' herbal book. These mainly epiphytic (rarely lithophytic plants are distributed throughout damp mountain forests in tropical North and Central America.


Cladistic research (by A. Pridgeon, R. Solano and M. Chase) has shown that the genus Stelis is monophyletic. But the distinction with several Pleurothallis subgenera is blurred (see Reference).
They are closely related to the massive genus Pleurothallis and Masdevallia. Although vegetatively the species show much variety, the flowers show a basic uniformity and are very similar throughout. Apatostelis Garay, Dialissa Lindl., Humboldtia Ruiz & Pav. and Steliopsis Brieger are generally included into Stelis.


Here are some species and their common names:

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