Australian orchid corrections

Mary Sue Ittner
Thu, 17 Jan 2008 20:16:26 PST
Dear All,


I asked Malcolm Thomas who is very knowledgeable about Australian orchids 
and who was once a member of our list to review the names and pictures of 
some orchids I've been adding to the wiki that we saw in Australia to make 
sure that I had correctly identified them. The first ones I did were fine, 
but not the more recent additions. Even though I have a field guide written 
by David and Barbara Jones in 2000 (A Field Guide to the Native Orchids of 
Southern Australia), it appears that Mr. Jones along with a colleague, Mark 
A. Clements have suggested multiple name changes for many of the orchid 
genera since then. They propose splitting some of the genera into many new 
groups. In a very short period of time they have gone from name to name to 
name. Not everyone agrees about these changes although some of the 
Australian botanists in some states are adopting them. The final outcome is 
uncertain. In addition a couple of my identifications were wrong.

Fortunately, Mr. Clements and Mr. Jones have put a name index online:…
This document is 275 pages long which illustrates both how many orchids 
there are in Australia and also how many different names these orchids have 
been known under. Malcolm commented to me that he hoped his email would 
help, but it might cause more headaches than happiness. I debated what to 
do about changes Kew and others are not accepting, but which are based on 
sound study by Australian orchid experts and have been adopted by others. 
Although I know we aren't entirely consistent about how we have done this 
on the wiki, for now I am listing them both places with synonyms and an 
explanation. Perhaps in a few years if these changes are more widely 
accepted the wiki can be changed. In each instance there was only one 
species per new genus page so it didn't take up too much space to have them 
in two places.

So for those of you who might be interested the large Bird orchid I saw 
should have been identified as Chiloglottis valida and is now known as 
Simpliglottis valida. Chiloglottis is being reserved for fall blooming 
species and two new genera were created for the spring and summer blooming 

The Greenhood orchids that I identified created a much bigger headache. 
Pterostylis under the new system has been divided into Pterostylis, 
Bunochilus,  Crangonorchis, Diplodium, Eremorchis, Hymenochilus, Linguella, 
Oligochaetochilus, Petrorchis, Pharochilum, Plumatichilos, Ranorchis, 
Speculantha, Stamnorchis, Taurantha, Urochilus. I added pictures of four 
species to the wiki and each one is considered to be in a different genus. 
If you are interested you can look at the original page:…
One of the ones I added had the species name changed from my field guide 
and another one Malcolm corrected as he believed it was a different species 
of bearded Greenhood, now considered to be Plumatichilos tasmanicum

I've not started yet on the Caladenia pictures, but I've been warned that 
genus has multiple changes. Besides the original Caladenia and Cyanicula 
(blue) which was separated out earlier we now have these additional genera 
as synonyms not listed in my 2000 field guide:
Arachnorchis D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem.
Caladeniastrum (Szlach.) Szlach.
Calonema (Lindl.) D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem.
Calonema (Lindl.) Szlach.
Calonemorchis Szlach.
Drakonorchis (Hopper & A.P.Br.) D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem.
Ericksonella Hopper & A.P.Br.
Glycorchis D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem.
Jonesiopsis Szlach.
Jonesyella Szlach.
Petalochilus R.S.Rogers
Pheladenia D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem.
Phlebochilus (Benth.) Szlach.
Stegostyla D.L.Jones & M.A.Clem.

Now if I had Jim McKenney's or Jane McGary's excellent knowledge of 
languages perhaps what they have chosen to call them would help me sort 
them out. Arachnorchis is easy, these are what they commonly called spider 
orchids. And Drakonorchis includes the ones called Dragon orchids.

Mary Sue

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