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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Asparagales

Familia: Orchidaceae
Subfamilia: Apostasioideae
Genus: Apostasia
Overview of species (8)

A. fogangica – A. latifolia – A. nuda – A. odorata – A. parvula – A. ramifera – A. shenzhenica – A. wallichii

Apostasia Blume, Bijdr.: 423 (1825)

Type species: Apostasia odorata Blume, Bijdr.: 423 (1825)


Mesodactylis Wall., Pl. Asiat. Rar. 1: 74 (1830)
Niemeyera F.Muell., Fragm. 6: 96 (1867)
Neumayera Rchb.f., Flora 55: 278 (1872)
Adactylus Rolfe, Orchid Rev. 4: 329 (1896)

Native distribution areas:
Primary references

Blume, C.L. 1825. Bijdragen tot de flora van Nederlandsch Indië 8: 423.
Pridgeon, A.M., Cribb, P.J., Chase, M.W. & Rasmussen, F.N. (eds.) 1999. Genera Orchidacearum Volume 1: General Introduction, Apostasioideae, Cypripedioideae; page 100 ff., Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-198505-13-2


'eFloras 2009. Apostasia in Flora of China vol. 25 Orchidaceae --> pdf Apostasia
Global Biodiversity Information Facility. 2021. GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset. Taxon: Apostasia. Accessed: 2021 May 24.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Apostasia in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2021 May 24. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Apostasia in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2021 May 24. Reference page.
Hassler, M. 2021. Apostasia. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2021. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2021 May 24. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2021. Apostasia. Published online. Accessed: 24 May 2021. 2021. Apostasia. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 24 May 2021.

Vernacular names

English: Grass orchids
перем коми: Апостасия
коми: Апостасия
мокшень: Апостасие
олык марий: Апостасий
кырык мары: Апостаси
русский: Апостасия
удмурт: Апостасия
Tiếng Việt: Chi Giả lan

Apostasia, commonly known as grass orchids,[2][3] is a genus of eight species of primitive orchids in the family Orchidaceae. They are terrestrial, evergreen, grass-like plants, barely recognisable as orchids and are distributed in humid areas of the Himalayan region, China, India, Sri Lanka, Southeast Asia, New Guinea, and Queensland. They have many narrow leaves and small yellow or white, non-resupinate, star-like flowers usually arranged on a branched flowering stem.


Plants in the genus Apostasia are evergreen, terrestrial, grass-like plants with a scaly rhizome with a few roots that sometimes develop tubers. They have thin stems with many long, narrow, grass-like leaves spirally arranged around them. Small yellow or white, non-resupinate flowers are arranged on a short, often branching flowering stem. The three sepals and three petals are all similar in size, shape and colour, unlike in more familiar orchids which usually have one petal modified as a labellum and often a dorsal sepal which differs from the lateral sepals. The parts of the column are also different from those in other orchids, with the two stamens separate from the style and the pollen grains not adhering to each other in pollinia.[2][3][4]
Taxonomy and naming

The genus Apostasia was first formally described in 1825 by Carl Ludwig Blume who published the description in Bijdragen tot de flora van Nederlandsch Indië.[1][5][6] The genus name Apostasia is derived from the Ancient Greek word apostasis meaning "defection" or "departure from",[7] referring to the distinct features of this genus.[3]

The two genera in the subfamily Apostasioideae, Apostasia and Neuwiedia, differ from most other orchids in having three stamens. Recent studies suggest that the fifteen or so species in these two genera, although exhibiting "primitive" features, are "sister" genera rather than ancestors of other orchid families.[8][9][10]
Distribution and habitat

Species in the genus Apostasia are found from north-eastern India, Nepal and Bhutan to southern Japan, and through Southeast Asia to New Guinea and northern Australia. Three species, one of which is endemic, are found in China and one is endemic to Queensland.
List of species

The following is a list of species of Apostasia recognised by the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families as at August 2018:[1]

Apostasia fogangica Y.Y.Yin, P.S.Zhong & Z.J.Liu 2016
Apostasia latifolia Rolfe, 1889.
Apostasia nuda R.Br., 1830.
Apostasia odorata Blume, 1825.
Apostasia parvula Schltr., 1906.
Apostasia ramifera S.C.Chen & K.Y.Lang, 1986.
Apostasia shenzhenica Z.J.Liu & L.J.Chen, 2011.
Apostasia wallichii R.Br., 1830.


"Apostasia". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (WCSP). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
Jones, David L. (2006). A complete guide to native orchids of Australia including the island territories. Frenchs Forest, N.S.W.: New Holland. p. 352. ISBN 978-1877069123.
"Apostasia". Trin keys. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
Chen, Xinqi; Gale, Stephen W.; Cribb, Phillip J. "Apostasia". Flora of China. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
"Apostasia". APNI. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
Blume, Carl Ludwig (1825). Bijdragen tot de flora van Nederlandsch Indië. Batavia. p. 423. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
Brown, Roland Wilbur (1956). The Composition of Scientific Words. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press. p. 62.
Zhang, Guo-Qiang; Liu, Ke-Wei; Liu, Zhong-Jian; et al. (2017). "The Apostasia genome and the evolution of orchids". Nature. 549 (7672): 379–383. doi:10.1038/nature23897. PMC 7416622. PMID 28902843.
Judd, Walter S.; Stern, William Louis; Cheadle, Vernon I. (October 1993). "Phylogenetic position of Apostasia and Neuwiedia (Orchidaceae)". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 113 (2): 87–94. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.1993.tb00331.x. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
Kocyan, Alexander; Qiu, Yin-Long; Endress, Peter K.; Conti, Elena (2004). "A phylogenetic analysis of Apostasioideae (Orchidaceae) based on ITS, trnL-F and matK sequences" (PDF). Plant Systematics and Evolution. 247 (3–4): 203–213. doi:10.1007/s00606-004-0133-3. S2CID 36144437.

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