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Potato orchids
Gastrodia elata 1.JPG
Gastrodia elata in Fukushima Prefecture
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Gastrodieae
Genus: Gastrodia

Gastrodia, commonly known as potato orchids[2] or as 天麻属 (tian ma shu),[3] is a genus of terrestrial leafless orchids in the family Orchidaceae, about ninety of which have been described. Orchids in this genus have fleshy, upright stems and small to medium-sized resupinate flowers with narrow sepals and petals. They are native to Asia (China, the Russian Far East, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent), Australia, New Zealand, central Africa, and various islands of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.[1]


Orchids in the genus Gastrodia are leafless, terrestrial, mycotrophic herbs with a fleshy, underground rhizome and an upright flowering stem with a few to many brownish, resupinate flowers. The sepals and petals are fused to form a bell-shaped or irregular tube with the tips free. The petals are usually much smaller than the sepals and the labellum has three lobes and is fully enclosed in the tube.[2][3][4][5][6][7]


The genus Gastrodia was first formally described in 1810 by Robert Brown and the description was published in Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae et Insulae Van Diemen. The type species is Gastrodia sesamoides.[8]

List of species[edit]

The following is a list of species of Gastrodia recognised by the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families as at July 2020:[1]

- Taiwan

A paper published in March 2020 described a new species Gastrodia gunatillekeorum C.Bandara, Priyankara & Kumar from Sri Lanka, but the name had not been assessed for inclusion in the above list as at July 2020.[9]

Gastrodia agnicellus was discovered in Madagascar and was described in a paper published in November 2020.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d "Gastrodia". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  2. ^ 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. p. 370. ISBN 1877069124.
  3. ^ a b Chen, Xinqi; Gale, Stephen W.; Cribb, Phillip J. "Gastrodia". Flora of China. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  4. ^ Weston, Peter H. "Genus Gastrodia". Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  5. ^ Jeanes, Jeff. "Gastrodia". Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Gastrodia". State Herbarium of South Australia. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Genus Gastrodia". Orchids of New Guinea. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Gastrodia". APNI. Retrieved 9 November 2018.
  9. ^ Bandara, Champika; Priyankara, Theja; Attanagoda, Anusha G.; Lakkana, Tithira; Ediriweera, Sisara; Kumar, Panjak (16 March 2020). "Gastrodia gunatillekeorum (Gastrodieae, Epidendroideae, Orchidaceae), a new species from a lowland rainforest of Sri Lanka". Phytotaxa. 436 (1): 55–62. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.436.1.5.
  10. ^ Hermans, Johan (September 2020). "Gastrodia Agnicellus: A new holomycotrophic orchid from southeast Madagascar Orchidaceae". Curtis's Botanical Magazine. 37 (3): 385–395. doi:10.1111/curt.12354.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Gastrodia at Wikimedia Commons