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This article gives a complete list of valid genera in the Orchid family (Orchidaceae), originally according to The Families of Flowering Plants - L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz. This list is adapted on a regular basis with the changes published in the Orchid Research Newsletter which is published twice a year by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

This taxonomy undergoes regular change and evolves rapidly, mainly through evidence from DNA study. At the moment, orchids are mostly defined by morphological similarity (structure of their flowers and other parts). Furthermore, each year about another 150 new species are being discovered. The list of genera alone currently stands just short of 1000 entries. From a cladistic point of view, the orchid family is considered a monophyly, i.e. the group incorporates all the taxa derived from an ancestral group.


Each entry includes five element:

  • Name authority (subfamily, abbreviation) synonymy
The name is given in italic. It will not be linked for synonyms.
The authority is the standardly abbreviated Author citation according to IPNI
The subfamily is indicated by abbreviating it to the first letter:
Horticulturist have developed a set of standard abbreviation for genera used in hybridization. These abbreviation reflect those in the Royal Horticultural Society's (RHS) Sander's List of Orchid Hybrids, the internationally recognized registrar of orchid hybrids. These abbreviations and variations are instead of the more unwieldy generic names, for example, in giving hybrid parentage and on identifying labels. The standard name is in bold, names marked with asterisks are used for genera that are not abbreviated by the RHS because they are not used in hybridization, but have received prizes from other organization such as the American Orchid Society
If the name is a synonym an not in current use, the accepted name is given. The name is preceded by = for heterotypic synonyms (taxonomic synonyms; synonyms with a different type species), and with ≡ for homotypic synonyms (nomenclatural synonyms; synonyms that only differ in name). Note that not all species that once belonged to a synonymic genus are necessarily member of the currently accepted genus, some, or even most may have been placed in other genera. Names whose synonymy is not agreed are marked by ≈.



Ascocentrum miniatum




Dendrochilum javieriense


Encyclia alata
Eria stricta



Gomesa recurva


Haraella retrocalla





Ludisia discolor


Macodes petola
Maxillaria cucullata
Oncidium schroederianum



Oerstedella centropetalla
Ornithophora radicans


Phaius tankervilleae
Northern Green Orchid (Platanthera hyperborea)
Western Prairie Fringed Orchid (Platanthera praeclara)
Polystachya pubescens
Prosthechea cochleata



Rhyncholaelia glauca
Rhynchostele bictoniensis


Spiranthes romanzoffiana









  1. ^ a b c d e Australian authorities recognize this segregate.
  2. ^ A treatment of the genus as a section of Pleurothallis was published simultaneously by the same author due to an editorial oversight, making the publication invalid.
  3. ^ Abola was homonymous with a previous name published by Michel Adanson for Cinna L.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Spelling variation.
  5. ^ Ackermania is also homonymous to Ackermannia, a genus of fungus.Because of this, some authorities the name synonymous only with Chondrorhyncha, the genus in which the species originally were, rather than Benzingia, where they eventually were placed.
  6. ^ Superfluous name for Adeneleuterophora.
  7. ^ Spelling variant for Aggeianthus
  8. ^ Homonym of a genus in Myrsinaceae.
  9. ^ Spelling mistake for Amblostoma.
  10. ^ Rejected earlier synonym.
  11. ^ The genus Pabstiella was thought to be invalid, but had been validated after its original publication. Because Anthereon included the type species of that genus, it was rendered illegitimate.
  12. ^ Superfluous name for Corunastylis, now synonymized with Genoplesium.
  13. ^ Rejected earlier near-homonym of Arachnitis
  14. ^ The type of Asarca is in Chlorea, but many species are in Gravilea
  15. ^ The name is often credited to Blume, but Blume's name was invalidly published without a description. It is a synonym of Geodorum.
  16. ^ Not to be confused with Auliza Small, an illegitimate synonym for Epidendrum
  17. ^ The author believed that Cribbia should be treated as a homonym of Cribbea, but this was disagreed.

Notes to myself[edit]

  1. ^ Some authorities treat these names as synonyms, but appear to disagree which is synonymous to which.
  2. ^ a b c d e f No species?
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Cite error: The named reference missing was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  4. ^ a b c d e f Synonym with an article.
  5. ^ It is not clear why Acianthopsis, which precedes this name, is not used. Clements and Jones elsewhere consider it invalid. THis needs looking into.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v Conflicting reports as to whether or not it is a synonym..
  7. ^ a b c Original publication invalid? Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "attribution" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  8. ^ Cite error: The named reference aussie was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  9. ^ Typo for Arpophyllum? Nom. illeg.?
  10. ^ Why is it a nom. illeg.?
  11. ^ Cite error: The named reference whichsyn was invoked but never defined (see the help page).


  • The International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN) (2000).
  • Dressler, R.L. (1993). Phylogeny and Classification of the Orchid Family. Cambridge Univ. Press
  • Pridgeon, A.M., Cribb, P.J., Chase, M.A. & Rasmussen, F. eds. (1999). Genera Orchidacearum 1. Oxford Univ. Press.
  • Pridgeon, A.M., Cribb, P.J., Chase, M.A. & Rasmussen, F. eds. (2001). Genera Orchidacearum 2. Oxford Univ. Press.
  • Pridgeon, A.M., Cribb, P.J., Chase, M.A. & Rasmussen, F. eds. (2003). Genera Orchidacearum 3. Oxford Univ. Press
  • Berg Pana, H. 2005. Handbuch der Orchideen-Namen. Dictionary of Orchid Names. Dizionario dei nomi delle orchidee. Ulmer, Stuttgart

External links[edit]