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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 1/4/2013)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 1/4/2013)
Genus CATASETUM L. C. Rich. ex Kunth
PlaceOfPublication Syn. Pl. Aequin. 1:330. 1822
Reference Benth. & Hook. Gen. Pl. 3:551. 1883; Mansfeld, in Fedde Rep. Sp. Nov. 30:257-275. 1932; Fedde Rep. Sp. Nov. 31:99-125. 1932.
Synonym Myanthus Lindl. in Bot. Reg. 18: sub t. I538. 1832. Monachanthus Lindl. loc. cit. 1832. Cuculina Raf. Fl. Tellur. 4:49. 1836. Monacantbus G. Don. in Sweet, Hort. Brit. 3:644. 1839. Catachaetumn Hoffmsgg. Verz. Orchid. 22. 1842. Clowesia Lindl. in Bot. Reg. 29: Misc. 25, t. 39. 1843. Warczewitzia Skinner in Lindl. & Paxton's Flow. Gard. 1:45. 1850-51.
Description Epiphytic herbs. Pseudobulbs fleshy, fusiform, or subconic; roots often with many secondary, slender, erect, spinous rootlets which form dense mats about the base of the plants. Leaves plicate, strongly nerved, the blades deciduous; the per- sistent imbricating bases closely enveloping the pseudobulbs, armed at the apex with short, sharp spines. Inflorescences arching or pendulous racemes from the base of the pseudobulbs. Flowers few or many, often large and showy, unisexual or perfect. Sepals aud petals in all forms free, subequal, fleshy or membranaceous, part or all of them spreading or reflexed and connivent at the base. The genus is divided by Mansfeld into two distinct sections. In CLOWESIA: flowers perfect (containing both a functional stigmatic surface and a fertile anther); column without elongate antenna-like processes; lip membranaceous or fleshy. In ORTHOCATASETUM: flowers unisexual, the staminate and pistillate forms strikingly dissimilar and usually produced on separate scapes; staminate flowers (those most frequently seen) usually many, often conspicuously colored, on an arching or pendent raceme; lip membranaceous, fleshy, spreading, concave or galeate, the margins entire, lobulate, emarginate, crenate, fimbriate or dentate; column erect, footless, the under-side usually with two elongate antenna-like processes which are extremely sensitive when touched, ejecting the pollinia with considerable force. Anther terminal, operculate, incumbent, convex, 1-celled or imperfectly 2-celled; pollinia 4, waxy, in 2 pairs, or 2-lobed or 2-sulcate. Pistillate flowers less frequently produced, usually few, on short, erect or arching racemes. Lip usually very fleshy and galeate, with or without a thickened margin. Column short and stout, without antennae; functional stigmatic surface present.
Note A large and remarkable genus of American orchids ranging from Mexico to Peru and Brazil. They are among the most interesting of all known orchids, but segregation of the various entities has been delayed and confused by the di- morphism of the flowers. Many synonymous names have been added to the litera- ture from specimens flowering in European greenhouses, most being color forms of now well-known species. However, much remains to be done, and some in- stances still exist (in the section ORTHOCATASETUM) where only the staminate, or the pistillate form is known, or at least the forms have not been correlated with each other. Both sections of the genus are represented in Panama, each with three species.
Key a. Flowers perfect. Column without elongate antennae. (Section CLOWESIA.) b. Lip 3-lobed, membranaceous, apical lobe fimbriate ............................... 6. C. WARCZEWITZII bb. Lip entire, very fleshy, apex obtuse or acute. c. Sepals and petals very strongly reflexed. Apex of the lip acute.... 4. C. SUAVE cc. Sepals and petals spreading. Apex of the lip obtuse .... 2. C. EBURNEUM aa. Flowers dimorphic. Column of the staminate flowers (in the Panama species) with 2 elongate antennae. (Section ORTHOCATASETUM.*) *The key in this section is based on staminate flowers. It is usually difficult or impossible to identify the pistillate flowers, particularly from dried material. b. Lip of the staminate flowers with 5 elongate, marginal processes. Total length of the lip 1 cm. or less .................................................... 1. C. BICOLOR bb. Lip of the staminate flowers without elongate marginal processes. Total length 2 cm. or more. c. Lip globose above, with an abrupt, conical, basal constriction, lateral margins minutely ciliate; inner lip strongly rugose-striate.... 5. C. VIRIDIFLAVUM cc. Lip obconic, uniformly tapering, the base not abruptly constricted, lateral margins fimbriate; inner lip glabrous..... 3. C. OERSTEDII
 
 
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