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Genus Arthrochilus Family Orchidaceae

Synonyms: Phoringopsis D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem. APNI*
Thynninorchis D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem. APNI*

Description: Terrestrial herbs, sympodial; roots filamentous; tuberoids paired and often also produced at apex of stolons.

Leaves absent or in a rosette on a shoot separate from the flowering stem [or basal], 2–6 per shoot, convolute, petiolate or sessile.

Inflorescence racemose, several–many-flowered, terminal; flowers not resupinate [or resupinate]. Dorsal sepal free, about as long as, or longer than lateral sepals. Lateral sepals free or decurrent on column foot. Lateral petals free, about as long as, or shorter than dorsal sepal. Labellum free, hinged to column foot by a short to elongated claw; lamina oblong to 3-lobed, grading into, or peltate to the claw, highly ornamented with a combination of tufted hairs, fringing cilia, warty appendage and knobbed calli. Column lacking free filament and style; column wings fused to column, expansive near the middle to form 2 elongated arms, forming teeth at the apex that project conspicuously [or shortly] beyond the anther. Column foot longer or shorter than column. Anther erect, persistent. Pollinia 4, soft and mealy. Stigma entire. Rostellum obscure, ventral.


Distribution and occurrence: World: 10 species, Australia, New Guinea. Australia: 10 species (8 species endemic), all States except W.A.

We have chosen not to recognise Thynninorchis (or the tropical Phoringopsis), segregated from Arthrochilus by Jones et al. (2002, Orchadian 13: 437-468). Arthrochilus, as formerly circumscribed, is a monophyletic group (Clements et al. 2002, Lindleyana 17: 135-171) and thus requires no nomenclatural change at generic level. Moreover, no evidence has been provided by Jones et al. (2002) or anyone else, for the monophyly of Thynninorchis, Phoringopsis or their more narrowly circumscribed Arthrochilus. (P.H. Weston March 2007)

Text by P. Bernhardt
Taxon concept: P. Bernhardt (1993, Flora of New South Wales volume 4)

 Key to the species 
1Leafless herb; column foot long and narrow, rod-like; style wings linear to thread-like; lamina with 2 trailing ciliated tails (lateral lobes), the basal callus giving rise to an alternate pair of calli with knobbed headsArthrochilus huntianus
Herb with 2–6 basal leaves; column foot short and broad, anvil-shaped; style wings broad-triangular; lamina without 2 trailing ciliated tails, the basal callus giving rise to a solitary, elongated horn with a warty 2-lobed tipArthrochilus prolixus

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