, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 253-266

A reconsideration of Encyclia (orchidaceae)

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Summary

The status of the genusEncyclia is reviewed, and this genus is compared withEpidendrum. As currently used,Epidendrum is a very heterogeneous assortment of species, resulting largely from the over-emphasis on certain “key characters.” If a greater emphasis is given to the internal coherence of the species groups within theEpidendrum alliance, about thirty genera can be recognized, with Envyclia and Epide~drum in different sectors of the alliance. The limited data on inter-speelfic crossability suggests that the entire alliance is a comparinm in genecologica] terms. The only alternative to the recognition ofEpidendrum andEncyclia as distinct genera is the union of all thirty genera into one, which is considered to be impractical.

I wish here to express my gratitude to Mrs. S. F. Velick, whose skill and patience produced Figures 2 and 3, and especially to Mrs. James Klotz and Mr. Armyn Spiess, who kindly lent living material for use in their preparation.