Key to Tasmanian Dicots
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Orchidaceae 4a
The orchids (Orchidaceae) form the largest family of native plants in Tasmania, with 206 native species in 32 genera. In addition one  South African species has become naturalised in Tasmania.

The orchids are fairly conservative in growth habit, with almost all the Tasmanian species being small terrestrial herbs (usually with annual shoots growing from underground tubers), although one species is an epiphyte and one grows on rocks. Some of the terrestrial species are saprophytic (i.e. using decaying plant material as their energy source rather than photosynthesis) and have no leaves. Globally the majority of species are epiphytic.

In contrast to their conservative habits. the flowers of orchids reflect a relatively simple plan that has diversified into an astonishing range of forms. The key to identifying orchids is to understand the parts of the flower (see information below).

Orchid flowers

 
 

Key to Genera

© 2011 University of Tasmania
Contact: Greg.Jordan@utas.edu.au

List of Genera