Nervilia, commonly known as shield orchids, is a genus of orchid with about 71 species. It is characterizedby 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 infundibulifoliais a new orchid record to China andNervilia viridiflorais a new orchid species new to science.
In 2011, one researcher from XTBG found two seemingly new species ofNerviliaat Bamboo Garden within XTBG. Further verification was needed.
Their further field surveys in Xishuangbanna foundtwo unusual species of the genusNervilia,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 infundibulifoliais aterrestrial orchid growing in monsoon evergreen broad leaved forest, limestone forest, deciduous forest and the riparian bamboo forest.
Nervilia infundibulifoliais close to theN. pangteyanaby 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 viridiflorais a terrestrial orchid growing in the riparian bamboo forest. It is similar toN. khaoyaicaandN. 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