Orchids Wiki

Habenaria medusa plate.jpg
Habenaria medusa from
Lindenia Iconographie des Orchidées

Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Orchideae
SubTribe: Habenariinae
Genus: Habenaria
Willd. 1805
Type Species
Habeneria macroceratitis

Habenaria abbreviated as Hab. in horticultural trade, commonly called bog orchids, are a far ranging genus of orchid, one of approximately 800 described Orchidaceae genera within that large and diverse family.


This genus is distributed world wide in temperate and tropical grasslands The distribution is mainly concentrated in tropical South America, Asia and Africa.


Habenaria species have small to large underground root tubers and erect stems 20 to 80 cm in length. Leaves are lanceolate or ovate, and are borne either along the stem (cauline) or only at the base (basal). When basal, leaves lie flat on the ground. Flowers are mostly green, white, yellow and green, or white and green, but a few exceptions have brilliant red flowers. The column is frequently complicated, with long organs sticking out of it (stigma processes, lateral rostellum arms, anther canals). The plant is a perennial deciduous, with the entire above-ground part of the plant dying back each year.


There are species in both tropical and temperate zones.

Plants are best grown in deep pots (e.g. 20 cm depth, place tubers at 10 cm depth) in a well drained medium consisting of 50% river sand, 40% leaf mulch and 10% vermiculite. Plants are best grown in a temperate environment with 50-70% shading and excellent ventilation.

Regular watering should be given during the growth season, from spring to autumn. As soon as autumn cooling sets in reduce watering to once every two weeks. During cold winter months do not water. It is, however, vital to watch that the medium does not dehydrate completely. To prevent this drench the pot occasionally and allow to dry. Do not keep the medium damp. Only after new shoots emerge at the end of winter commence with watering once every two weeks for the spring season and once or twice a week as required for the summer season.

A slow release fertilizer can be applied during spring. Aphids can be a problem and should be watched for and eliminated.


This genus is named after its thread-like fringes on the lip


  1. Habenorkis Thouars, 1809.
  2. Entaticus Gray, 1821.
  3. Mesicera Raf., 1825.
  4. Ate Lindl., 1835.
  5. Bilabrella Lindl., 1835.
  6. Digomphotis Raf., 1837.
  7. Diplectraden Raf., 1837.
  8. Nemuranthes Raf.,1837.
  9. Synmeria Nimmo in J.Graham, 1839.
  10. Centrochilus Schauer, 1843.
  11. Choeradoplectron Schauer, 1843.
  12. Dissorhynchium Schauer, 1843.
  13. Macrocentrum Phil., 1871.
  14. Montolivaea Rchb.f., 1881.
  1. Podandria Rolfe in D.Oliver & auct. suc. (eds.), nom. illeg.
  2. Hemihabenaria Finet, 1902.
  3. Habenella Small, 1903.
  4. Denslovia Rydb., 1931.
  5. Itaculumia Hoehne,1936.
  6. Kryptostoma (Summerh.) Geerinck, 1982.
  7. Ala Szlach., 1994.
  8. Podandriella Szlach., 1998.
  9. Pseudoperistylus (P.F.Hunt) Szlach. & Olszewski, 1998.
  10. Renzorchis Szlach. & Olszewski, 1998.
  11. Alinorchis Szlach., 2001.
  12. Arachnaria Szlach., 2003.
  13. Ceratopetalorchis Szlach., 2003.
  14. Macrura (Kraenzl.) Szlach. & Sawicka, 2003.
  15. Mirandorchis Szlach. & Kras-Lap., 2003.
  16. Pseudocoeloglossum (Szlach. & Olszewski) Szlach., 2003.
  1. Pseudohemipilia Szlach., 2003.
  2. Schlechterorchis Szlach., 2003.
  3. Trachypetalum Szlach. & Sawicka, 2003.
  4. Bertauxia Szlach., 2004.
  5. Fimbrorchis Szlach., 2004.
  6. Kraenzlinorchis Szlach., 2004.
  7. Kusibabella Szlach., 2004.
  8. Medusorchis Szlach., 2004.
  9. Ochyrorchis Szlach., 2004.
  10. Plantaginorchis Szlach., 2004.
  11. Platantheroides Szlach., 2004.
  12. Smithanthe Szlach. & Marg., 2004.
  13. Platycorynoides Szlach., 2005.


See List of Habenaria species


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External Links[]

Culturesheets.GIFHabenaria at CultureSheet.org