Gymnadenia rhellicani

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Gymnadenia rhellicani
Gymnadenia rhellicani (spike).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Genus: Gymnadenia
Species: G. rhellicani
Binomial name
Gymnadenia rhellicani
(Teppner & E. Klein) Teppner & E. Klein
Synonyms [1]
  • Nigritella rhellicani Teppner & E. Klein
  • Nigritella nigra subsp. rhellicani (Teppner & E. Klein) H. Baumann, Künkele & R. Lorenz

Gymnadenia rhellicani is a European species of orchid.


Gymnadenia rhellicani grows 5–22 centimetres (2.0–8.7 in) high, with a dense, globose to cylindrical inflorescence of red-brown to chocolate-brown flowers with a chocolate-like aroma.[2] Some plants, especially in the south of the species' range have noticeably paler flowers.[2]


Gymnadenia rhellicani grows in the Alps and Carpathians at altitudes of 1,000–2,800 metres (3,300–9,200 ft).[1]


The species was described as a distinct species in 1990 by Herwig Teppner and Erich Klein, who noted that it was diploid and reproduced sexually, in contrast to the rest of the wider Gymnadenia nigra group, which is polyploid and apomictic.[2] At the time, all these taxa were in the genus Nigritella, but that was later subsumed into Gymnadenia. The specific epither "rhellicanus" commemorates Johannes Müller (known as "Rhellicanus", 'from Rellikon', to distinguish him from others with the same name), who in 1536 made the earliest description of the species known to the authors.[2]


  1. ^ a b c H. Rankou (2011). "Gymnadenia rhellicani". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources: e.T175979A7161210. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2011-2.RLTS.T175979A7161210.en. 
  2. ^ a b c d Herwig Teppner & Erich Klein (1990). "Nigritella rhellicani spec. nova und N. nigra (L.) Rchb. f. s. str. (Orchidaceae - Orchideae)" (PDF). Phyton. Horn, Austria. 31 (1): 5–26. 

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