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Classification System: APG IV

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

Familia: Orchidaceae
Subfamilia: Epidendroideae
Tribus: Vandeae
Subtribus: Aeridinae
Genus: Rhynchostylis
Overview of species (5)

R. coelestis – R. cymifera – R. gigantea – R. retusa – R. rieferi

Rhynchostylis Blume, Bijdr.: 285. (1825)

Type species: Rhynchostylis retusa (L.) Blume, Bijdr.: 286 (1825)


Anota Schltr., Die Orchideen: 587 (1914)

Native distribution areas:

China South-Central, Hainan.
Indian Subcontinent
Assam, Bangladesh, East Himalaya, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, West Himalaya.
Andaman Islands, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Nicobar Islands, Thailand, Vietnam.
Borneo, Jawa, Malaya, Philippines, Sumatera.

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Blume, C.L. von (1825) Bijdragen tot de flora van Nederlandsch Indië 7: 285, 434.
Pridgeon, A.M., Cribb, P.J., Chase, M.W. & Rasmussen, F.N. (eds.) 2014. Genera Orchidacearum Volume 6: Epidendroideae (Part three); page 260 ff., Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19964-651-7


'eFloras 2009. Rhynchostylis in Flora of China vol. 25 Orchidaceae --> pdf Rhynchostylis
Global Biodiversity Information Facility. 2021. GBIF Backbone Taxonomy. Checklist dataset. Taxon: Rhynchostylis. Accessed: 2021 Dec 13.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Rhynchostylis in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Dec 13. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Rhynchostylis in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Dec 13. Reference page.
Hassler, M. 2021. Rhynchostylis. 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 on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Dec 13. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2021. Rhynchostylis. Published online. Accessed: 13 Dec 2021.
Tropicos.org 2021. Rhynchostylis. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Dec 13.

Vernacular names

日本語: リンコスティリス属
перем коми: Ринхостилис
коми: Ринхостилис
кырык мары: Ринхостилис
ไทย: สกุลช้าง
удмурт: Ринхостилис
中文: 钻喙兰属

Rhynchostylis (abbreviated Rhy in the horticultural trade) is a genus in the orchid family (Orchidaceae), closely allied to the genus Vanda (from which it differs in the one-lobed lip of the flower) and comprising four currently accepted species native to the Indian Subcontinent, China, Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.[1][2] The name consists of a compound of two Greek elements : rhynchos 'beak' and stylis 'column' – in reference to the very broad, fleshy column of the flower. The flowers are borne in dense racemes and are noted for their intense, spicy fragrance. Although lacking in pseudobulbs, the plants have leathery leaves that are drought-resistant. These orchids grow naturally in warm, moist, shaded tropical areas and will thrive in cultivation if given consistent warmth, uniform moisture and bright, but indirect light. Hobbyists wanting to grow them will need a warm, humid growing environment with gentle air movement. They can be grown in pots, but are better grown in baskets, owing to the extreme fleshiness of their roots. Their unusually fragrant blooms often appear in the slightly cooler winter months.[3]

Despite being in the Vanda tribe, they are very different from vandas. They grow more slowly, their roots are more fragile, and almost any direct sun will harm them. However, they are typically grown with no potting mix on slat baskets or mounted in the same way as vandas.[4] [5]

The genus possesses valuable medicinal properties meriting in-depth pharmacological investigation, including antispasmodic and antiseptic activity.[6] Several species have been found to contain alkaloids.[7]

The Subtribe was changed from Sarcanthinae (Benth, 1881) to Aeridinae (Pfitzer, 1887) in 1972.[8][9]

As of February 2016, four species are recognized though many others have been proposed:[1]

Rhynchostylis coelestis (Rchb.f.) A.H. Kent in H.J. Veitch – Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam
Rhynchostylis gigantea (Lindl.) Ridl. – widespread in Hainan, Andaman Islands, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Borneo, Philippines
Rhynchostylis gigantea subsp. gigantea – all of species range except Philippines
Rhynchostylis gigantea subsp. violacea (Lindl.) Christenson – Philippines
Rhynchostylis retusa (L.) Blume – Yunnan, Guizhou, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Assam, Bangladesh, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Indochina, Malaysia, Borneo, Sumatra, Java, Philippines
Rhynchostylis rieferi (Higgins) – Philippines


Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
Flora of China v 25 p 474, 钻喙兰属 zuan hui lan shu, Rhynchostylis Blume
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Orchids ed. Pridgeon, Alec, pub. Lansdowne Publishing Pty Ltd. Australia 1992 and David and Charles UK 2003.ISBN 0 7153 1782 2
"AOS Sheet on Rhynchostylis Gigantea".
"Jay's IOSPE on Rhynchostylis".
Orchid Biology: Reviews and Perspectives, III ed. Arditti, Joseph, pub. Comstock Publishing Associates - a division of Cornell University Press 1984 ISBN 0-8014-1040-1 (v.1) : Chapter 2 : Ethnobotany of the Orchidaceae by Lawler, Leonard J. page 101
Genera Orchidacearum: Epidendroideae edited by Alec M. Pridgeon, Phillip J. Cribb, Finn N. Rasmussen, Mark W. Chase
"Molecular phylogenetics of Vandeae (Orchidaceae) and the evolution of leaflessness".

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