Pogonia (orchid)

Pogonia ophioglossoides

Pogonia is a genus of the orchid family ( Orchidaceae). It contains four species that are native to eastern North America and East Asia.


Pogonia are small, herbaceous, perennial plants. They have an underground, thin, hairy rhizome, where the thin roots sit. The shoot is upright and hollow. He wears a single sheet. This is oval to lanceolate, somewhat fleshy, veined reticulate.

The terminal inflorescence usually consists of only one, sometimes two or three flowers. The bract is large and leaf-like foliage. The flowers are 'upside, the color is generally pink, white and yellow components. The petals are not fused together. The three sepals are oval and widely spread out. The petals pointing forwards and form a corolla tube above the column. The lip is unlobed, the front edge is fringed on the lip are dense, yellow-colored appendage. The column is slender at the base, there are two indistinct glands, in the end she is wearing the stamen. The opposite to the column axis down curved stamen is like a hood surrounded by tissue of the column ( Klinandrium ), which ends serrated irregular. The stamen contains the pollen into two chambers, the loose form of a single pollen grains ( monads ). The fruit capsule is upright, it contains numerous spindle-shaped seeds. These are good one millimeter long and 0.15 mm wide. The seed coat is made of a few, extremely elongated (up to 0.9 mm) cells.

The chromosome number is 2n = 18, for Pogonia japonica are different counts of 2n = 18, 2n = 20 to 2n = 23, sometimes even 36, 62 or 68 before.


Pogonia is widespread in eastern North America and East Asia. They usually grow in open, sunny locations, often in moist to wet, sometimes flooded places.

Systematics and botanical history

Pogonia is classified within the subfamily Vanilloideae in the tribe Pogonieae. Closely related they are ( also referred to as Cleistesiopsis ) with Isotria and the North American Cleistes.

Pogonia was first described in 1789 by Antoine- Laurent de Jussieu. The name comes from the Greek Pogonia πώγων pogon, "beard", and refers to the densely populated with appendages lip. Type species is Pogonia ophioglossoides.

The species of the genus Pogonia are:

  • Pogonia japonica Rchb.f.
  • Pogonia minor ( Makino ) Makino
  • Pogonia ophioglossoides (L.) Ker Gawl.
  • Pogonia yunnanensis Finet

Rafael Govaerts still lists the types Pogonia kungii Tang & FTWang and Pogonia parvula Schltr. , But which are considered by the authors of the "Flora of China" and "Genera Orchidacearum " as synonyms to Pogonia japonica. The identity of the described as Pogonia trinervia ( Roxb. ) Voigt, originating from the Moluccan plants is unclear, possibly it is a Nervilia type.


The information in this article come from mainly:

  • Charles J. Sheviak, Paul M. Catling: Pogonia. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee ( eds.): Flora of North America North of Mexico. 26, Oxford University Press, New York and Oxford 1993 , p 513 ( eFloras.org, accessed on 25/04/2009 ).
  • Alec M. Pridgeon, Phillip Cribb, Mark W. Chase and Finn Rasmussen ( ed.): Genera Orchidacearum. Orchidoideae (Part 2). Vanilloideae. 3/2, Oxford University Press, New York and Oxford 2003, ISBN 0-19-850711-9, pp. 294-297.
  • Chen Xinqi, Stephan W. Gale, Phillip J. Cribb: Orchidaceae ( Draft). In: Wu Zhengyi, Peter H. Raven, DY Hong (eds.): Flora of China. 25 Missouri Botanical Garden Press, St. Louis 1994 ( Flora of China, accessed on 25/04/2009 ).

Furthermore, quoting:


  • Commons: Pogonia - album with pictures, videos and audio files
  • Pogonia
  • List of Orchid Genera
  • Orchids
  • Orchidaceae