AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Subfamily Higher Epidendroideae

Description:

Formerly called Vandoideae, this is the second largest subfamily with over 300 genera in more than 5,000 species. They are mostly epiphytes, but include some terrestrials and myco-heterotrophs, all occurring in most tropical areas. The main stem grows in a single direction.

Many of the species develop pseudobulbs (i.e. a bulge at the base of a stem), that are normally shorter and sturdier than those in the epidendroids.

The striking characteristics of the vandoids are a cellular pollinium stalk (= stipe), superposed pollinia and the unique development of the incumbent anther, that bends early in development.