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This genus is accepted, and its native range is Ghana to Zimbabwe, Tropical & Subtropical Asia to Pacific.
Taeniophyllum conoceras


There are 236 species of Taeniophyllum distributed from tropical Africa (only one species) through tropical Asia—Sri Lanka, India, China, and Japan southeast into Malesia, and from northern Australia, New Zealand, Micronesia, and the Pacific islands east to the Austral Islands.


Species are epiphytic, lithophytic, or rarely terrestrial in subtropical and tropical wet evergreen forests and subtropical forests, dry forests, mangrove and swamp forests, rubber plantations, and hill forests on ultramafic substrate at 0–3600 m.

General Description

Epiphytic or lithophytic herbs. Roots flattened and ribbon-like or rarely subterete, appressed to substrate or pendent and spreading, green and photosynthetic in rainy season, whitish or greyish in dry season. Stem inconspicuous. Leaves absent or rudimentary and reduced to tiny brown scales, or basal, distichous, few, articulate to sheath, blade usually oblong-obovate, membranous, conduplicate in bud, deciduous. Inflorescence lateral, racemose, glabrous or muricate, few- to many-flowered; rachis slowly elongating, terete or flattened, bearing flowers in succession, one or two at a time; floral bracts alternate, persistent, sometimes with aristate, stipule-like appendages on both sides decurrent to form wings on peduncle and rachis. Flowers distichously arranged, ephemeral or lasting only a few days, usually resupinate, pale green to yellowish white. Sepals and petals free and widely spreading or connate at base or below middle into a tube, this fissured on the side with labellum, the free portions erect or weakly spreading, slightly dissimilar. Labellum entire or trilobed, rigidly attached to base of column, spurred or saccate, disc naked or with a single callus; spur globose to cylindrical, often retrorse, with the opening often partially or entirely covered by a hyaline septum, frequently with a globular or dactyliform appendage within, base often concave, lateral margins inflexed, apex subacute to acute and sometimes provided within with a reflexed tooth or bristle-like appendage, or truncate and unappendaged. Column usually with two lobes on adverse sides of apex projecting into concave base of labellum, foot absent, clinandrium shallowly excavate; anther cap proclined, often beaked; pollinia two or four, free, waxy, subglobular, often obovoid or ellipsoid, borne on a common stipe frequently dilated distally, viscidium oblong or elliptic; stigma transverse, deeply recessed; rostellar projection apex bifid.


Orchidaceae, I. la Croix & P.J. Cribb. Flora Zambesiaca 11:2. 1998

Morphology General Habit
Leafless epiphytic herbs with short, simple stems; roots abundant, photosynthetic.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Inflorescences
Inflorescence axillary, racemose.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers resupinate; sepals and petals similar, united for part of their length; lip free, spurred.
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Column
Column very short; anther erect with 4 pollinia in 2 unequal pairs; stipes and viscidium 1; rostellum, minutely 3-lobed.


Parham (1943) recorded that the Fijian islanders considered T. parhamiae L.O.Williams (= T. fasciola) of medicinal value. The photosynthetic roots are crushed and rubbed on the affected area in treating lumbago and other pains of the lower back, and a drink made of the plant is used internally for abdominal pains. Taeniophyllum is rare in cultivation.

Doubtfully present in:


Native to:

Andaman Is., Assam, Bismarck Archipelago, Borneo, Cambodia, Caroline Is., China South-Central, China Southeast, Christmas I., Cook Is., East Himalaya, Fiji, Ghana, Hainan, India, Japan, Jawa, Korea, Lesser Sunda Is., Malaya, Maluku, Marianas, Mauritius, Myanmar, Nansei-shoto, Nepal, New Caledonia, New Guinea, New South Wales, Niue, Norfolk Is., Philippines, Pitcairn Is., Queensland, Samoa, Society Is., Solomon Is., Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Tubuai Is., Vanuatu, Vietnam, Wallis-Futuna Is., Zaïre, Zimbabwe

Extinct in:


Taeniophyllum Blume appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
Cruttwell, N.E.G. [202], Papua New Guinea 10474.000
Hunt, P.F. [2505], Solomon Is. 28572.000
Hunt, P.F. [2210], Solomon Is. 28580.000
Hunt, P.F. [2587], Solomon Is. 28585.000
Hunt, P.F. [2016], Solomon Is. 28588.000
Cruttwell, N.E.G. [992] 30899.000
Cruttwell, N.E.G. [868], Papua New Guinea 31034.000
Cruttwell, N.G., Papua New Guinea 31776.000
Cruttwell, N.E.G. [1520], New Guinea 32726.000
Sokol, O., Guam 33044.000
Dockrill, A.W., Australia 33599.000
Cruttwell, N.E.G. [1640], Papua New Guinea 40160.000
Lamb, A. 49329.000
Lamb, A. 49339.000
Lamb, A. 49344.000
Clements, M.A. [3366], Malaysia 52765.000
Clements, M.A. [3243], Malaysia 52931.000
Beaman, J.H. [10015], Malaysia 53673.000
Beaman, J.H. [10352], Malaysia 53674.000
Wood, J.J. [946], Indonesia 55944.000
de Vogel [9244], Malaysia 56811.000
Sands, M.J.S. [1133], Papua New Guinea 9108.009
Lamb, A. [AL1084/88], Malaysia 72451.000
Lamb, A. [AL496/85], Sabah 72786.000
Lamb, A. [AL364/85], Sabah 72821.000
Lamb, A. [AL399/85], Sabah 72822.000
Lamb, A. [AL344/85], Sabah 72824.000
Lamb, A. [AL424/85], Sabah 72827.000
Lamb, A. [AL366/85], Sabah 72828.000
Lamb, A. [AL814/87], Sabah 72878.000
Lamb, A. [AL827/87], Sabah 72863.000

First published in Bijdr. Fl. Ned. Ind.: 355 (1825)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Monocotyledons Database in ACCESS: 1-71827. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
  • Pridgeon, A.M., Cribb, P.J., Chase, M.C. & Rasmussen, F.N. (2014). Genera Orchidacearum 6: 1-544. Oxford University Press, New York, Oxford.


Flora of West Tropical Africa

  • Bijdr. 335, t. 70 (1825).

Flora Zambesiaca

  • Bijdr. Fl. Ned. Ind., part 6: t. 3, fig. 176 (1825).

All Rights Reserved

Flora Zambesiaca
Flora Zambesiaca

Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

Kew Backbone Distributions
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2021. Published on the Internet at and
© Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.