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Genus Empusa Family Orchidaceae

Description: Terrestrial herbs, sympodial; roots subterranean, fibrous. Stems differentiated into rhizome and pseudobulb; pseudobulb of several internodes, subterranean.

Leaves tufted at the apex of the pseudobulb, several per shoot, usually distichous, plicate, sessile.

Inflorescence racemose, several–many-flowered, terminal; flowers resupinate. Dorsal sepal free, longer and narrower than lateral sepals. Lateral sepals basally or almost completely fused along adjacent margins [or free]. Lateral petals free, about as long as dorsal sepal. Labellum free, attached at base of column; lamina unlobed, bearing 2 rounded basal ridges and a central plate. Column lacking free filament and style; column wings fused to column, expansive in upper half. Column foot absent. Anther incumbent, cap-like. Pollinia 4, waxy. Stigma entire. Rostellum not prominent, ventral.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 7 spp., SE Asia, Malesia, Melanesia, N.Cal., Aust. Aust.: 1 sp. (endemic), Qld, N.S.W.

Text by P. H. Weston
Taxon concept:

One species in NSW: Empusa habenarina

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