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Zeuxine strateumatica (Panoso).jpg
Zeuxine strateumatica
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Tribe: Cranichideae
Subtribe: Goodyerinae
Genus: Zeuxine
  • Adenostylis Blume 1825
  • Psychechilos Breda 1829
  • Tripleura Lindl. 1833
  • Strateuma Raf. 1836[1837]
  • Monochilus Wall. ex Lindl. 1840
  • Haplochilus Endl. 1841
  • Heterozeuxine T.Hashim. 1986
  • Zeuxinella Aver. 1841

Zeuxine, commonly known as verdant jewel orchids,[2] is a genus of about eighty species of orchids in the tribe Cranichideae. They are native to parts of tropical Africa, Asia, Southeast Asia, New Guinea, Australia and some Pacific Islands. They have relatively narrow, dark green leaves and small, dull-coloured resupinate flowers with the dorsal sepal and petals overlapping to form a hood over the column. The labellum has a pouched base and its tip has two lobes.


Orchids in the genus Zeuxine are terrestrial, perennial, deciduous, sympodial herbs with a fleshy, creeping, above-ground rhizome anchored by wiry roots. The leaves are thinly textured and stalked, arranged in a rosette at the base of the flowering stem or scattered along it. Small, resupinate dull-coloured flowers are often crowded along the short flowering stem which usually has protruding bracts. The dorsal sepal and petals overlap, forming a hood over the column. The lateral sepals overlap the base of the labellum which is usually white, has a pouched base and a number of stalkless glands. The column is short with two stigmas.[2][3][4][5][6]

Taxonomy and naming[edit]

The genus Zeuxine was first formally described in 1826 by John Lindley who gave it the name Zeuxina but Zeuxine is the nom. cons. The description was published in the appendix of Collectanea Botanica.[1][7][8] The name Zeuxine is derived from the Latin word zeuxis meaning "joining" or "yoking"[9] in apparent reference to either the partly fused column or to the pollinia.[3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Plants in the genus Zeuxine usually grow in dark, moist forests where the humidity is always high or near swamps and seepage areas. They occur in tropical regions between Africa and Asia, in Southeast Asia, New Guinea, Australia and some Pacific Islands. Fourteen species are endemic to China and ten in Taiwan. Zeuxine strateumatica is naturalised on the Hawaiian Islands and in the south-eastern United States.[3][4][5][6]

List of species[edit]

The following is a list of species of Zeuxine recognised by the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families as at August 2018:[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Zeuxine". 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. 350. ISBN 1877069124.
  3. ^ a b c "Zeuxine". Trin keys. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  4. ^ a b Chen, Xinqi; Gale, Stephen W.; Cribb, Phillip J.; Ormerod, Paul. "Zeuxine (线柱兰属 xian zhu lan shu)". Flora of China. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  5. ^ a b Leou, Chong-Sheng. "Zeuxine (線柱蘭屬)". Digital flora of Taiwan. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Genus: Zeuxine". North American Orchid Conservation Center. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  7. ^ "Zeuxine". APNI. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  8. ^ Lindley, John (1826). Collectanea Botanica (Appendix 1). London. Retrieved 5 September 2018.
  9. ^ Brown, Roland Wilbur (1956). The Composition of Scientific Words. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. p. 144.

External links[edit]

  • Media related to Zeuxine at Wikimedia Commons