Liparis (plant)

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Liparis crenulata OrchidsBln0906.jpg
Liparis crenulata in the Berlin Botanical Garden
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Malaxideae
Genus: Liparis
Type species
Liparis loeselii[1]
(L.) Rich.

See text


Liparis, commonly known as widelip orchids,[3] sphinx orchids[4] or 羊耳蒜属 (yang er suan shu)[5] is a cosmopolitan genus of more than 350 species of orchids in the family Orchidaceae. Plants in this genus are terrestrial, lithophytic or epiphytic herbs with a wide range of forms. The flowers are usually resupinate and small to medium sized, yellow, yellow-green or purplish with spreading sepals and petals. The labellum is usually larger than the sepals and petals and is lobed, sometimes with a toothed or wavy margin and one or two calli at its base.


Orchids in the genus Liparis are terrestrial, lithophytic or epiphytic herbs, usually with one to a few leaves which may be linear to egg-shaped, thin or leathery and sometimes pleated. The flowers are small to medium sized, resupinate and arranged on a flowering stem with small bracts. The flowers are usually dull yellow, yellow-green or purplish and often have an unpleasant odour. The sepals and petals turn downwards and the dorsal sepal is free but the lateral sepals are sometimes fused for at least part of their length. The petals are free from each other and often different in size and shape from the sepals. The labellum is usually larger than both the sepals and petals, often lobed with a toothed or wavy edge and one or two calli at its base. There are two pairs of waxy, oval pollinia, each with a viscidium.[4][5][6]

Taxonomy and naming[edit]

The genus Liparis was first formally described in 1817 by Louis Claude Richard and the description was published in Die Orchideis Europaeis Annotationes.[7][8] The name Liparis is from the Ancient Greek word liparos meaning "oily", "greasy", "sleek" or "shiny",[9] referring to the smooth leaves.[10]


Species of Liparis occur on every continent except Antarctica. They are found in tropical Asia, subtropical and tropical parts of the Americas, Africa, New Guinea and Australia. There are sixty three species in China, twenty of which are endemic to that country, two in North America and one in Europe.[5][11]

Selected species[edit]


  1. ^ "Liparis". American Orchid Society. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Liparis". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  3. ^ "Liparis". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  4. ^ a b Brown, Andrew; Dixon, Kingsley; French, Christopher; Brockman, Garry (2013). Field guide to the orchids of Western Australia : the definitive guide to the native orchids of Western Australia. Simon Nevill Publications. p. 498. ISBN 9780980348149.
  5. ^ a b c Chen, Xinqi; Ormerod, Paul; Wood, Jeffrey J. "Liparis". Flora of China. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  6. ^ "Flora Zambesiaca - Liparis". Royal Botanic Gardens Kew. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  7. ^ "Liparis". APNI. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  8. ^ Richard, Louis Claude (1817). Die Orchideis Europaeis Annotationes. Paris. pp. 21, 30, 38. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  9. ^ Brown, Roland Wilbur (1956). The Composition of Scientific Words. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. p. 487.
  10. ^ "Liparis loeselii". Wisconsin State Herbarium. Retrieved 24 October 2018.
  11. ^ "Liparis". Flora of Mozambique. Retrieved 24 October 2018.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Liparis at Wikimedia Commons