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Genus Paracaleana Family Orchidaceae

Synonyms: Sullivania F.Muell. APNI*

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

Leaves ± suffused with purple, basal, 1 per shoot, convolute, sessile.

Inflorescence racemose, 1–several-flowered, terminal; flowers not resupinate. Dorsal sepal free, about as long as lateral sepals. Lateral sepals decurrent on column foot. Lateral petals free, about as long as dorsal sepal. Labellum free, attached to column foot by an elastic, irritable claw, which is upcurved when set, recurved when sprung; lamina peltately connected to the claw, lageniform (flask-shaped) compressed and warty over the whole surface [or warty only at apex]; when touched the labellum abruptly folds into the cup-like column. Column lacking free filament and style; column wings broad and continuous along the whole length of the column, fused across their base to column foot, forming a concave, cup-like basket. Column foot present, shorter than column, separating the points of insertion of the labellum and lateral sepals from those of the dorsal sepal and lateral petals. Anther erect, persistent. Pollinia 4, soft and mealy. Stigma entire. Rostellum obscure, ventral.


Distribution and occurrence: World: 13 species, Australia & New Zealand. Australia: 13 species (12 species endemic), all States except N.T.

Paracaleana was segregated from Caleana by D.F. Blaxell (1972, Contributions frrrom the NSW National Herbarium 4: 275–283) but in Flora of NSW vol. 4, we followed M.A. Clements (1989, Australian Orchid Research 1) in not recongising this split on the grounds that it was an unnecessary nomenclatural change. However, since 1993, the generic name Paracaleana has come into common useage, so we are now recognising it as distinct from its sister group, Caleana. Recently, D.L. Jones and M.A. Clements (2005, Orchadian 15: 33–42) suggested that an earlier name, Sullivania, had nomenclatural priority over Paracaleana and should be used instead. However, we agree with S.D. Hopper and A.P. Brown (2006, Australian Systematic Botany 19: 211–244) that Sullivania should be treated as a nomen dubium and thus disregarded. (P.H. Weston, March 2007)

Text by P.H. Weston
Taxon concept: S.D. Hopper & A.P. Brown (2006, Australian Systematic Botany 19: 211–244)

One species in NSW: Paracaleana minor

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