Aorchis spathulata plate
Aorchis spathulata plate from
The Orchids of the Sikkim-Himalaya

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
Tribe: Orchideae
SubTribe: Orchidinae
Genus: Aorchis
Verm. 1972
Type Species
Aorchis spathulata

Aorchis Vermeulen 1972, is a small genus of two terrestrial species from the orchid family (Orchidaceae), subfamily Orchidoideae, tribe Orchideae, subtribe Orchidinae. This genus is abbreviated Aor. in trade journals.


These frequent species occur in shrubs and alpine meadows at elevations of 2300 to 4300 meters, from the Himalaya to China, Japan, Korea and the Russian Far East, often forming extensive colonies.


These orchids are between 8 and 15 cm tall. They have a sympodial growth, with long, slender, creeping rhizomes. The erect stem is cylindric, with 1 or 2 tubular sheaths at its foot.

The broad, acute leaves are elliptic, spatulate or spatulate-oblanceolate. The plants show mostly two opposite leaves, (rarely 1 or 3) with a leafstalk, folded lengthwise.

The inflorescence (1,5 – 5 cm) is a raceme with 1-5 flowers; twisted to one side, growing on an erect scape (= naked peduncle rising from the ground). The main stalk is glabrous with spreading floral bracts. The glabrous, epigynous ovary is spindle-shaped. They bloom from July till August.

The pink sepals and petals, are oblong with an obtuse apex. The dorsal sepals form a hood with the petals. The pink lip is marked with many purple dots and is as long as the sepals. It shows an oblong, elliptic or ovoid shape with a nearly entire margin. There is a short spur.



The genus is named after its lack of floral similarities to the genus Orchis which it was classified in previously.

Species Edit


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  • Bergel, G., Aorchis cyclochila (Franch et Savat) Hashimoto - Die Orchidee 51 2000, Heft 2

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