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Amitostigma

Amitostigma Schltr. 1919, is a genus in

the orchid family (Orchidaceae), subfamily Orchidoideae, tribe Orchideae, subtribe Orchidinae, alliance Orchis

It is

an exclusively Asian genus of 27 orchids, growing in the alpine habitats of east Asia, India, eastern Himalaya, China, and

Japan to Kuril Islands, of which 22 grow species in China.

These are dwarf terrestrial orchids, including some

saprophytic species. The globose or ovoid tubers (1-1,5 cm) of these autotrophic plants are fleshy and not lobed, with

several slender roots. New shoots grow each tuber.

The stem is usually erect, with 1 (or rarely 2 or 3) basal or

cauline (= belonging to the stem) leaves. The length of the stem can vary between 5 and 45 cm.

The green leaf blade is

not articulate and can have an oblong, lanceolate, elliptic, or ovate form, even within the same species (see A. lepidum).

The leaves appear at the time of expansion of the flower (= anthesis).

The terminal inflorescence is racemose, seldom

subcapitate. The floral bracts are often lanceolate. The cylindrical to fusiform ovary is resupinate (= turned upside

down).

Each inflorescence shows many (rarely 1 or 2) flowers. These are also resupinate and usually twisted to one

side.

The sepals are completely separate from each other, with an oblong to ovate appearance, and usually 1-veined.

The erect petals are straight, often slightly broader than the sepals. The 3- or 4-lobed lip is usually longer and broader

than the petals and sepals, spurred at the base. The mid-lobe is oblong, square, or ovate. The margin of the lip is often

slightly undulate.

They have a characteristic short column. The erect anthers are cohesive with the column through its

broad base or back.. They have two parallel locules with farinaceous, sectile pollinia. The small rostellum is beak-shaped,

attached with its folded end to the viscidium. The two protuding stigmas are slightly club-shaped

The capsule is

suberect.

The color may vary within the same species : Amitostigma lepidum may show a purple lip with white margins,

or a white lip with purple dots or a totally white lip. Even the leaves may vary from lanceolate to ovate within the same

species.

After flowering, the leaves turn yellow color and die off.The plants then starts its summer dormancy for

several months. This cycle is well adapted to a climate which is hot and dry in

summer.

Species
Amitostigma alpestre : Alpine Chicken Orchid (Taiwan).
Amitostigma

amplexifolium (SC. China)..
Amitostigma basifoliatum (China).
Amitostigma bifoliatum (China).
Amitostigma

capitatum (China) .
Amitostigma dolichocentrum (China) .
Amitostigma faberi (China)
Amitostigma farreri (Tibet)..

Amitostigma gonggashanicum (China).
Amitostigma gracile (China to Temp. E. Asia).
Amitostigma keiskei (Japan)

Amitostigma keiskeoides (Vietnam).
Amitostigma kinoshitae (S. Kuril Is., Japan - Hokkaido, N. Honshu).

Amitostigma kurokamianum (Japan - Kyushu: Mt. Kurokami).
Amitostigma lepidum : Okinawa Orchid (Japan - S. Kyushu to

Nansei-shoto.
Amitostigma monanthum (SE. Tibet to C. China).
*Amitostigma monanthum var. forrestii (Tibet). Tuber

geophyte
*Amitostigma monanthum var. monanthum (SE. Tibet to C. China). Tuber geophyte
Amitostigma papilionaceum

(China - NW. Sichuan).
Amitostigma parciflorum (China).
Amitostigma physoceras (China - Sichuan)..
Amitostigma

pinguicula (China).
Amitostigma simplex (hina - W. Sichuan, SW. Yunnan)..
Amitostigma tetralobum (China - SW.

Sichuan, N. Yunnan).
Amitostigma thailandicum (Thailand).
Amitostigma tibeticum (Tibet).
Amitostigma tominagai

(Taiwan).
Amitostigma trifurcatum (China)..
Amitostigma yueanum (China - Yunnan).