Kionophyton Garay
  • Garay, Bot. Mus. Leafl. 28: 329 (1980 publ. 1982)

This is a synonym of Spiranthinae Lindl.

General Description

Terrestrial, acaulescent herbs. Roots several, fleshy, cylindrical-fusiform, pilose. Leaves 3-4, forming a basal rosette, distinctly petiolate; petiole narrow, sheathing at base, longer than the blade; blade elliptic to lanceolate or oblanceolate, acute to acuminate, present at the an thesis. Inflorescence glabrous below, pubescent above (hairs septate, uniseriate), partially concealed by tubular, herbaceous, acuminate bracts, flowers lax, secund or nearly so; floral bracts herbaceous at anthesis, lanceolate, acuminate, glabrous or sparsely pubescent, especially near the base and margins. Flowers held horizontally, tubular, the apices of the sepals straight or strongly recurved (in K. seminudum), green or yellow. Sepals connate for one-third to over half their length, pubescent externally to the apex (hairs septate, uniseriate, somewhat retrorsely adpressed). Dorsal sepal erect, elliptic-lanceolate, acute to obtuse-rounded. Lateral sepals forming a prominent, decurrent nectary; free portions conduplicate-concave, lanceolate to elliptic-lanceolate, acute to obtuse. Petals erect, shortly decurrent at base on the column, slightly recurved near the apex, obliquely oblanceolate to sub-falcate, obtuse to rounded, marginally papillose near the apex. Labellum shortly clawed, the claw mostly adnate to the lateral sepals; blade slightly adherent to the sides of the column to form a tunnel-like access to the nectary, the basal portion channelled, shortly pubescent-velutinous inside, less so outside, the base with a fleshy, rounded to more or less uncinate, papillose auricle (nectar gland) continuous with the thickened basal margins; apical portion conduplicate-concave, recurved and papillose at apex, ovate-pandurate or lanceolateoblong when spread out, acute to obtuse, often slightly broadened near the apex. Column clavate, relatively elongate, straight, ventrally flat, and pubescent, with clinandrium margins more or less rectangular or rounded, crenate, the base extended into a short, channelled, glabrous column foot; anther ovate in outline; pollinarium ovate in outline, formed by deeply cleft pollinia and a sheathing, fleshy, ventrally channelled viscidium, similar in shape to a bird's beak; rostellum remnant relatively fleshy, obscurely tridenticulate with the central tooth prominent, ventrally channelled; stigma obscurely bilobed, nearly semi-orbicular. Ovary densely pubescent, ascending, slightly twisted, cylindricalfusiform, oblique at apex because of the adnation of the column foot. Capsule not seen. (GS).


Plants of Kionophyton are terrestrial or lithophytic in mixed oak-coniferous and cloud forests, from 1400 to 2500 m. Flowering occurs from late August to early November. (GS).


This genus includes only two species. Kionophyton sawyeri (Standl. & L.O.Williams) Garay is widespread on the mountain ranges of the Pacific slope and central Mexico, and K seminudum is restricted to southeastern Mexico and Guatemala. (GS).


No uses have been recorded for this genus. (GS).

Distribution Map

  • Native distribution
Found in
  • Northern America Mexico Mexico Central
  • Mexico Northeast
  • Mexico Southeast
  • Mexico Southwest
  • Southern America Central America Guatemala


 Information From

WCS higher taxonomy
  • A All Rights Reserved
World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
WCSP 2014. 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet; Retrieved 2011 onwards
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