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Chiloschista usneoides.jpg
Chiloschista usneoides
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Vandeae
Subtribe: Aeridinae
Genus: Chiloschista
Type species
Chiloschista usneoides
(D.Don) Lindl.[2]

Chiloschista, commonly known as starfish orchids[3] or 异型兰属 (yi xing lan shu)[4] is a genus of usually leafless, epiphytic or lithophytic orchids found in India, Southeast Asia and Australia.


Orchids in the genus Chiloschista are epiphytic or lithophytic, usually leafless Monopodial herbs with flat, green, photosynthetic roots radiating from a short, central rhizome. The flowers are arranged on long, thin flowering stems, open sporadically in groups and only last for a few hours to one or two days. They are small and resupinate, with the sepals and petals more or less similar in size and shape to each other but different from the labellum which has three lobes. The side lobes of the labellum are erect and larger than the middle lobe which is slipper-shaped.[3][4][5]

Taxonomy and naming[edit]

The genus Chiloschista was first described in 1832 by John Lindley in Edwards's Botanical Register.[1][6] The name Chiloschista is derived from the Ancient Greek words cheilos meaning "lip" or "rim"[7]:486 and schistos meaning "split" or "divided".[7]:684

Twenty species of Chiloschista are recognised by the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families as at December 2018:[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Chiloschista". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  2. ^ "Chiloschista". APNI. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b Jones, David L. (2006). A complete guide to native orchids of Australia including the island territories. Frenchs Forest, N.S.W.: New Holland. pp. 434–435. ISBN 1877069124.
  4. ^ a b Chen, Xinqi; Wood, Jeffrey J. "Chiloschista". Flora of China. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  5. ^ "Chiloschista". Trin keys. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  6. ^ Lindley, John (1832). "Chiloschista". Edwards's Botanical Register. 18: t1522. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  7. ^ a b Brown, Roland Wilbur (1956). The Composition of Scientific Words. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.