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Genus Genoplesium Family Orchidaceae

Synonyms: Corunastylis Fitzg. APNI*

Description: Terrestrial herbs, sympodial; roots subterranean, filamentous; tuberoids paired.

Leaves well-developed and green or rarely reduced and reddish, basal, 1 per shoot, cylindrical, hollow, not petiolate.

Inflorescence racemose or spicate, many-flowered, terminal, emerging through a slit near the tip of the leaf. Flowers not resupinate. Dorsal sepal free, often cucullate, shorter than, and usually slightly broader than lateral sepals. Lateral sepals free but often basally coherent. Lateral petals free, shorter and narrower than dorsal sepal. Labellum free, attached to the column foot by a short, flexible claw so that it is mobile; lamina not lobed, with entire or finely toothed margins, with a single, 1- or 2-lobed callus extending from the base and often covering most of the lamina. Column lacking free filament and style, stubby; column wings fused basally to column but apically forming prominent, free, lateral, entire to 2-lobed arms. Column foot shorter than the column. Anther erect, usually slightly decurved, persistent. Pollinia 4, in 2 caudicle-bearing pairs, granular. Stigma entire. Rostellum ventral. Ovary usually decurved.


Distribution and occurrence: World: c. 40 species, Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia. Australia: 39 species(37 species endemic), all States except N.T.

We have chosen not to recognise the transfer of all but one species of Genoplesium to Corunastylis, proposed by Jones and Clements (2002, Orchadian 13: 437-468), until adequate phylogenetic evidence is published showing that these changes are necessary. Jones and Clements (2002) claimed that the phylogenetic analysis of Clements et al. (2002, Lindleyana 17: 135-171) supported this decision. However, that analysis sampled only three species of Genoplesium out of 48 then known. Furthermore, it showed Genoplesium to be paraphyletic to Prasophyllum with only minimal support. Analysis of a larger sample of species and significant evidential support is required before recognition of Corunastylis can be justified. (P.H. Weston March 2007)

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

Taxa not yet included in identification key
Genoplesium anthracinum ined.,    Genoplesium arrectum,    Genoplesium bishopii,    Genoplesium clivicolum ined.,    Genoplesium densum ined.,    Genoplesium ectopum,    Genoplesium formosum,    Genoplesium insigne,    Genoplesium laminatum ined.,    Genoplesium littorale,    Genoplesium oliganthum,    Genoplesium ostrinum,    Genoplesium ruppii,    Genoplesium trifidum ined.,    Genoplesium vernale

 Key to the species 
1Plants saprophytic, fleshy, brittle; lateral sepals much longer than dorsal sepalGenoplesium baueri
Plants non-saprophytic, neither fleshy nor brittle; lateral sepals about as long as dorsal sepal or slightly longer2
2Flowers lacking cilia on any segment, labellum margins sometimes irregular or finely toothed but never ciliate3
Flowers ciliate on at least one floral segment
                       Back to 1
8
3Free part of leaf lamina arising among the lower flowers and projecting conspicuously outwardsGenoplesium nudiscapum
Free part of leaf lamina ending well short of lowest flower, usually appressed to peduncle
                       Back to 2
4
4Flowers c. 1.5 mm across; labellum c. 1.5 mm long, dorsal sepal and petals striped or bandedGenoplesium pedersonii
Flowers 2.5–4 mm across; labellum 2 mm or more long, dorsal sepals and petals not striped or banded
                       Back to 3
5
5Labellum apex acuminate to long-acuminateGenoplesium despectans
Labellum apex obtuse to acute
                       Back to 4
6
6Flowers wholly red to reddish brown, rarely with some greenish markingsGenoplesium rufum
Sepals and petals green to yellowish green, sometimes with a few red markings
                       Back to 5
7
7Labellum green to yellowish green; coastal and near-coastal habitatsGenoplesium pumilum
Labellum dark purplish black; inland districts
                       Back to 6
Genoplesium nigricans
8Cilia confined to labellum margins9
Cilia present on labellum and at least one other tepalline whorl
                       Back to 2
14
9Flowers 2–3 mm across; labellum cilia 0.1–0.2 mm longGenoplesium nudum
Flowers 4–6 mm across; labellum cilia more than 0.5 mm long
                       Back to 8
10
10Flowers wholly purple to purplish black11
Flowers green to greenish brown with stripes on the dorsal sepal and petals, labellum wholly reddish purple or reddish towards the apex
                       Back to 9
13
11Labellum c. 2 mm long and 1.3 mm wide, margins sparsely ciliate; subalpine swampsGenoplesium turfosum
Labellum more than 3 mm long and 1.5 mm wide, margins densely ciliate; lowland to montane sclerophyll forest
                       Back to 10
12
12Lateral sepals parallel or slightly divergent; labellum obovate, cilia 0.3–0.5 mm longGenoplesium rhyoliticum
Lateral sepals widely divergent; labellum ovate, cilia 0.5–1 mm long
                       Back to 11
Genoplesium archeri
13Lateral sepals 7.5–9 mm long; labellum oblong, 5–5.5 mm longGenoplesium plumosum
Lateral sepals 5–6 mm long; labellum obovate, 3.5–4 mm long
                       Back to 10
Genoplesium sagittiferum
14Cilia present on labellum and petals but not dorsal sepal15
Cilia present on labellum, petals and dorsal sepal
                       Back to 8
16
15Lateral sepals obliquely deflexed; petals with numerous ciliaGenoplesium morinum
Lateral sepals erect; petals sparsely ciliate
                       Back to 14
Genoplesium archeri
16Cilia 0.1–0.2 mm long, often glandular17
Cilia more than 0.5 mm long, coarse and often tangled, non-glandular
                       Back to 14
19
17Lateral sepals erect; labellum thin-textured, narrow-obovateGenoplesium filiforme
Lateral sepals obliquely deflexed; labellum thick and fleshy, broad-ovate to broad-obovate
                       Back to 16
18
18Flowers 2–3.3 mm across; labellum 1.5–2 mm long; rare species confined to Mt Wilson (Blue Mtns)Genoplesium eriochilum
Flowers 4–6 mm across; labellum 2.5–4 mm long; widespread in central districts
                       Back to 17
Genoplesium woollsii
19Labellum cilia reddish, pinkish or pinkish mauve20
Labellum cilia dark brown or purplish black
                       Back to 16
22
20Lateral sepals 9–10 mm long, dark pinkish purpleGenoplesium superbum
Lateral sepals 5–6.5 mm long, green
                       Back to 19
21
21Labellum hinged and motile, flowers opening widely; all perianth segments presentGenoplesium fimbriatum
Labellum fixed, immobile, flowers cleistogamous or opening tardily; one or more perianth segments often absent
                       Back to 20
Genoplesium apostasioides
22Labellum broadest towards the base23
Labellum broadest at or above the middle
                       Back to 19
24
23Labellum ovate to lanceolate, callus extending about half way to labellum apex; coastal and near-coastal districtsGenoplesium acuminatum
Labellum narrow-ovate, callus extending to the labellum apex; inland ranges
                       Back to 22
Genoplesium systenum
24Flowers c. 5 mm across, strongly lemon-scentedGenoplesium citriodorum
Flowers c. 7–8 mm across, not lemon-scented
                       Back to 22
25
25Labellum narrow-obovate to narrow-spathulate, usually 5–6 mm long and 2 mm wideGenoplesium simulans
Labellum narrow-elliptic, usually 4–5 mm long and 1.5 mm wide
                       Back to 24
Genoplesium morrisii

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