By Tom Sheehan
Greater than one hundred fifty orchid genera are defined, every one observed via an excellent Marion Sheehan representation that indicates a consultant species; all reveal an identical constructions in related perspectives in order that the reader can simply examine the differences between genera. In 1995, the authors got the yank Orchid Society's Gold Medal of accomplishment.
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Additional info for An Illustrated Survey of Orchid Genera
A Phalaenopsis grower might choose to describe Phalaenopsis; a Cymbidium grower, Cymbidium; and so on. Since most people are familiar with the genus Cattleya, and since its flowers are large and easy to dissect, it serves as a good example. Five basic characteristics are associated with orchid flowers, and it is the combination of these five characteristics that separates orchids from other plant families: zygomorphic flowers; a white, stiff, waxy column containing the plant's reproductive structure; the rostellum, a gland that separates the pollinia from the stigmatic surface and thus prevents self-pollination while ensuring that visiting insects leave with pollinia; nonpowdery, agglutinated pollen; and the minute seeds, which, because they have no endosperm, require the aid of a fungus to germinate.
Page 16 teristics is an orchid, and since seeds are not always present, orchidists must rely heavily on the first four characteristics when checking an unknown plant to determine if it is an orchid. Zygomorphic Flowers. Botanically, all flowers are divided into two major groups, regular and irregular. A regular flower, such as the tulip or Easter lily, is symmetrical and can be cut in any plane to divide it into two equal halves. An irregular flower, such as the canna or maranta, has segments that are different and thus dividing it in any plane will not produce equal halves.
Convinced that the 12 pollinia of our flower were truly normal, we delved into the literature to see if we could find a description of the genus Brassavola and an explanation for this unusual condition. Our search was both interesting and frustrating, but it was not successful. We had hoped to find a complete description of the genus and sufficient illustrations to depict the important taxonomic characteristics. Instead, we found several descriptions that contained only two or three lines. Only one description stated that the genus Brassavola had ''eight or more'' pollinia, but it did not indicate how many "more" signified.