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   Location:Home > Research > Research Progress
New record of shield orchids found in Xishuangbanna
Author: Liu Qiang
Update time: 2018-12-14
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Nervilia, commonly known as shield orchids, is a genus of orchid with about 71 species. It is characterized by having prominent fan-shaped venation of leaves and developing flowers and leaves at different times and all above ground parts died back at the end of the growing season. 

Researchers from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) of Chinese Academy of Sciences recently identified the two species as N. sect. Linervia. Among them, Nervilia infundibulifolia is a new orchid record to China and Nervilia viridiflora is a new orchid species new to science. 

In 2011, one researcher from XTBG found two seemingly new species of Nervilia at Bamboo Garden within XTBG. Further verification was needed. 

Their further field surveys in Xishuangbanna found two unusual species of the genus Nervilia, which looked same as the orchids discovered at XTBG. 

After undertaking a comprehensive literature and herbarium review, they finally identified the two species as N. sect. Linervia. 

Nervilia infundibulifolia is a terrestrial orchid growing in monsoon evergreen broad leaved forest, limestone forest, deciduous forest and the riparian bamboo forest. 

Nervilia infundibulifolia is close to the N. pangteyana by sharing the light green leaves with purple-maroon streaks along the veins. But it differs from the latter by having the globose tuber with two to three distinct internodes and labellum with a white strip of longer papillae borne on a raised ridge extending to the apex of the mid-lobe. 

Nervilia viridiflora is a terrestrial orchid growing in the riparian bamboo forest. It is similar to N. khaoyaica and N. umphangensis, but can be distinguished from them by having the cordate leaves, greenish flowers and labellum with two longitudinal ridges extending from base of lip to apex of mid-lobe. 

The two new orchid records have been published in Phytotaxa. 


LIU Qiang Ph.D  

Center for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun, Mengla, Yunnan 666303, China  

E-mail: liuq@xtbg.org.cn  


Nervilia viridiflora (Image by LI Jianwu) 


Nervilia infundibulifolia (Image by LI Jianwu) 


Flowers of Nervilia viridiflora (L) and Nervilia infundibulifolia. (Image by LI Jianwu) 

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Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Menglun, Mengla, Yunnan 666303, China
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