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Orchid names and Classification

Name consists of: Subfamily Tribe Subtribe Genus Species

Cattleya warneri
All species of the earth's flora and fauna have two Latin names, following Linnaeus's binomial system of nomenclature. The first name listed, always capitalized and italicized or underscored, is the name of the genus, e.g. Cattleya. A genus is simply a group of related species. The second name, also italicized, is the species name itself, e.g. skinneri. Names of either may commemorate a person, describe some particularly diagnostic aspect of the plant, or refer to the place of its discovery. For example, Guarianthe skinneri honors George Ure Skinner, a famous explorer and orchid collector in Guatemala, who discovered the species. Cattleya amethystoglossa was named for its amethyst-colored labellum. Paphiopedilum philippinense is native to the Philippines.

Through the centuries, botanists have tried to express relationships among orchids by ranking them in hierarchies according to similarities and differences in floral and/or vegetative features. Orchids left no fossil record, as far as we know, so our ideas about the evolutionary history of the family have been largely speculative, based on general trends in flowering plants and on the most parsimonious explanations. As new data become available from the field and laboratory, often as the result of applying new technology, orchid systematists are compelled to reassess relationships, whether at the species level or higher. Since the names of plants reflect those relationships, the names may change Also but only in accordance with rules established by the International Code of botanical Nomenclature. Among other rules and recommendations, this Code specifies the various levels of the hierarchy of classification. Closely related genera are grouped into subtribes, names which end in -inae. Following our example of Guarianthe skinneri above, Guarianthe is in subtribe Laeliinae along with its relatives such as Laelia and Encyclia Related subtribes are grouped into larger taxonomic units called tribes; names of tribes end in eae Subtribe Laeliinae is in tribe Epidendreae. Finally, related tribes are grouped into a subfamily, the names of which always end in -oideae. Tribe Epidendreae is in subfamily Epidendroideae. According to Dressler, whose 1981 classification is followed in this volume, there are six subfamilies in the orchid family Apostasioideae, Cypripedioideae, Spiranthoideae Orchidoideae, Epedendroideae, and Vandoideae. Since that 1981 classification was published, Dressler ~ 1986 1990a, 1990b) has amended the framework more than once at many levels. However, most orchid growers are familiar only with the 1981 scheme, hence its adoption here:

Subfamily Apostasioideae

Subfamily Cypripedioideae

Subfamily Spiranthoideae
Tribe Erythrodeae
Subtribe Tropidiinae
Subtribe Goodyerinae
Tribe Cranichideae
Subtribe Spiranthinae
Subtribe Pachyplectroninae
Subtribe Manniellinae
Subtribe Cranichidinae
Subtribe Cryptostylidinae
Subfamily Orchidoideae
Tribe Neottieae
Subtribe Limodorinae
Subtribe listerinae
Tribe Diurideae
Subtribe Chloraeinae
Subtribe Caladeniinae

List of Genera Index Kewensis 

Subtribe Pterostylidinae
Subtribe Acianthinae
Subtribe Diuridinae
Subtribe Prasophyllinae
Tribe Orchideae
Subtribe Orchidinae
Subtribe Habenariinae
Subtribe Huttonaeinae
Tribe Diseae
Subtribe Disinae
Subtribe Satyriinae
Subtribe Coryciinae
Tribe Triphoreae
Tribe Wullschlaegelieae

Subfamily Epidendroideae
Tribe Vanilleae
Subtribe Vanillinae
Subtribe Lecanorchidinae
Subtribe Palmorchidinae
Subtribe Pogoniinae
Tribe Gastrodieae
Subtribe Nerviliinae
Subtribe Gastrodiinae
Subtribe Rhizanthellinae
Tribe Epipogieae
Tribe Arethuseae
Subtribe Arethusinae
Subtribe Thuniinae
Subtribe Bletiinae
Subtribe Sobraliinae
Tribe Coelogyneae
Subtribe Coelogyninae
Subtribe Adrorhizinae
Tribe Malaxideae
Tribe Cryptarrheneae
Tribe Calypsoeae
Tribe Epidendreae
Subtribe Podochilinae
Subtribe Thelasiinae
Subtribe Glomerinae
Subtribe Laeliinae
Subtribe Meiracyllinae
Subtribe Pleurothallidinae
Subtribe Dendrobiinae
Subtribe Bulbophyllinae
Subtribe Sunipiinae

Subfamily Vandoideae
Tribe Polystachyeae
Tribe Vandeae
Subtribe Sarcanthinae
Subtribe Angraecinae
Subtribe Aerangidinae
Tribe Maxillarieae
Subtribe Corallorhizinae
Subtribe Zygopetalinae
Subtribe Bifrenariinae
Subtribe Lycastinae
Subtribe Maxillariinae
Subtribe Dichaeinae
Subtribe Telipogoninae
Subtribe Ornithocephalinae
Tribe Cymbidieae
Subtribe Cyrtopodiinae
Subtribe Genyorchidinae
Subtribe Thecostelinae
Subtribe Acriopsidinae
Subtribe Catasetinae
Subtribe Stanhopeinae
Subtribe Pachyphyllinae
Subtribe Oncidiinae



Disa kewensis

For purposes of hybridization or awards specific plants may be given clonal or cultivar names, following the species name and enclosed in single quotes, such as Cattleya skinneri 'Many'. Any awards that clone might receive then follow the clonal name, e.g. Cattleya skinneri 'Many', CCM/ AOS There are several national orchid societies that grant awards for flower quality or cultural excellence: the American Orchid Society (AOS) the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Deutsche Orchideen- (DOG), as well as regional and local societies, about 40 in all. The highest award that the American Orchid Society and Royal Horticultural Society give for flower quality is the First Class Certificate (FCC). The next highest is the Award of Merit (AM). In addition, the American Orchid Society grants a third quality award, the Highly Commended Certificate (HCQ). Other societies such as the Deutsche Orchideen-Gesellschaft award Gold (GM), Silver (SM)  and Bronze Medals (BM) to flowers. Awards such as the Certificate of Cultural Merit (CCM/AOS)  and Certificate of Cultural Commendation (CCC/RHS)  recognize superior cultivation of specimen plants.

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