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Genus Corybas Family Orchidaceae
Common Name: Helmet orchids

Synonyms: Anzybas D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem. APNI*
Calcearia Blume APNI*
Corysanthes R.Br. APNI*
Nematoceras Hook.f. APNI*
Gastrosiphon M.A.Clem. & D.L.Jones APNI*
Molloybas D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem. APNI*
Singularybas Molloy, D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem. APNI*

Description: Terrestrial herbs, sympodial. Leaf solitary, circular to cordate, sometimes lobed.

Flower solitary, sessile or shortly pedicellate, usually reddish or purplish, dominated by the dorsal sepal and labellum. Dorsal sepal erect and incurved, expanded gradually or with a distinct basal claw. Lateral sepals linear to filiform, free or fused at the base. Petals linear to filiform, often auriculate at the base. Labellum either tubular throughout with an apical orifice or with a basal tube and expanded lamina, with or without a central boss; labellum tube with basal auricles either open or closed. Column much reduced, enclosed by the base of the labellum tube.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 100 species, Asia, Malesia, Australia, Polynesia & Macquarie I. Australia: 20 species (19 species endemic), all States except N.T.

We have chosen not to recognise the following genera segregated from, or resurrected from synonymy under Corybas by Jones et al. (2002, Orchadian 13: 437-468): Anzybas, Calcearia, Corysanthes, Gastrosiphon, Molloybas, Nematoceras, Singularybas. Those authors justified recognition of these genera on the grounds that their phylogenetic analysis (Clements et al. 2002, Lindleyana 17: 135-171) showed these taxa all to be monophyletic. However, they neglected to mention that Corybas, as formerly and broadly circumscribed, was also shown by their analysis to be monophyletic. The numerous name changes that they proposed for Corybas are simply unnecessary. (P.H. Weston March 2007)

Text by D. L. Jones
Taxon concept: D. L. Jones (1993, Flora of New South Wales volume 4)

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Corybas diemenicus,    Corybas dowlingii

 Key to the species 
1Dorsal sepal with a narrow basal claw suddenly expanded to the lamina; labellum tubular throughout with a terminal orifice2
Dorsal sepal expanded gradually to the lamina; labellum tubular only at the base then expanded to an open lamina4
2Dorsal sepal longer than labellum; flowers distinctly bandedCorybas fordhamii
Dorsal sepal as long as or shorter than labellum; flowers uniformly coloured
                       Back to 1
3
3Flowers purple; lamina calli c. 1 mm longCorybas unguiculatus
Flowers reddish; lamina calli c. 0.25 mm long
                       Back to 2
Corybas montanus
4Auricles at the base of the labellum tube remaining closed5
Auricles at the base of the labellum tube open at the apex
                       Back to 1
7
5Dorsal sepal not obscuring labellum; labellum apex with a short tailCorybas undulatus
Dorsal sepal obscuring most of the labellum; labellum apex without a tail
                       Back to 4
6
6Flowers white to pinkishCorybas barbarae
Flowers reddish grey to reddish purple
                       Back to 5
Corybas aconitiflorus
7Labellum boss notched in the upper margin8
Labellum boss entire
                       Back to 4
9
8Labellum margins coarsely toothedCorybas hispidus
Labellum margins entire or finely toothed
                       Back to 7
Corybas incurvus
9Labellum tube shorter or as long as the lamina10
Labellum tube longer than lamina
                       Back to 7
11
10Labellum tube much shorter than laminaCorybas fimbriatus
Labellum tube about as long as lamina
                       Back to 9
Corybas pruinosus
11Flower 18–24 mm long, dark reddish with a conspicuous white labellum bossCorybas dilatatus
Flower 12–16 mm long, pale reddish pink, with an inconspicuous off-white labellum boss
                       Back to 9
Corybas sp. A sensu Harden (1993)

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