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Plant Info
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Class: Liliopsida
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Order: Asparagales
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Family: Orchidaceae
Subfamily: Orchidoideae
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Tribe: Diuridiae
Subtribe: Acianthinae
Genus: Acianthus
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Acianthus (Brown, 1810) is a small Australasian genus of 21 species from the orchid family (Orchidaceae). The name is derived from the Greek words achis (point) and anthos (flower), referring to the pointed sepals. Common Australian names include "pixie-caps," "gnat orchid," and "mosquito orchid." Acianthus species occur in Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, but mainly in New Caledonia, in small groups in forests on decaying litter, or occasionally on partially decayed logs or in association with bracken fern.

These terrestrial orchids have small, globular, subterranean tubers from which the flower stems arise. They are mainly insect pollinated, usually by small gnats. There is a single, heart-shaped, clasping leaf, often with purple markings, near the base, held horizontally above the soil. These orchids produce a terminal raceme, arising from near the center of a solitary leaf, bearing pinkish or greenish flowers with a long spur. There are small flowers (4 to 5 mm), blending in with the surroundings.


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