This species was very recently described from Qin & Yin (2021) from the Yachang Orchid National Nature Reserve in Guanxi, China. It’s a leafless and medium sized MHP, growing up tp 61-71 cm. The whole plant is yellow-green in colour, and usually has many dark purple spots, stripes and details. It was found in a subtropical evergreen and deciduous mixed forest at an altitude of 1.860 m.
Aphyllorchis sumatrana was described by Smith (1922) from Goenoeng Malintang, West Sumatra at an elevation of approx. 1.300 m. Smith (1922) noted that the epichile of the lip is simple, much recurved and rugose towards the apex, and that it has a rather long column that is hardly dilated at the apex. The description was based on dried and alcohol material. The finder H. A. B. Bünnemeijer noted that the peduncle, bracts and flowers are light green and have violet streaks.
Mycoheterotrophic plant species (MHP, Leake 1994) lack chlorophyll and depend on their mycorrhizal fungus for carbon and nutrient supply. MHP were first counted by Johow (1889), who estimated 160 species of “achlorophyllous humus plants” in 43 genera and 5 families. Schmucker (1959) already counted 352 “holosaprophytic” species in 48 genera and 6 families. Furman and Trappe (1971) referred to “roughly 400 species”, 50 genera and 7 families. In an review on MHPs Leake (1994) lists 417 MHP species in 87 genera and 11 families. My own preliminary reassessment of Leake's list in 2008 resulted in 438 species/84 genera/10 families, but was just a rough estimate. The most recent assessment is of Merckx (2013) in his introducing chapter to the first book exclusively dedicated to MHP: Mycoheterotrophy - The Biology of Plants living on Fungi. On page 9 he says: "At least 514 species of angiosperms and a single liverwort species entirely depend on fungal carbon during their complete life cycle". This website aims to set up a list of all mycoheterotrophic plants on earth, combined with additional informations such as synonymy, taxonomic history and a bibliography. So far, the list of accepted species with taxonomic comments as well as synonyms are complete except for Orchidaceae. Under the flag 'Mycoheterotrophic Plants' you find a taxonomic tree, where synonyms appear ahead of the accepted tax, each in alphabetic order. The bibliography (about 1400 references) collects the bibliographic data of the taxonomic literature mentioned up to now, as well as other articles dealing with all aspects of mycoheterotrophic plants. The citations in the taxonomic comments (pages) are hyperlinked with the bibliographic data. You find the taxonomic comments under the flag 'Descriptions' when choosing a species name in the taxonomy 'Mycoheterotrophic Plants'.
To the date of 28th of January 2022 this list enumerates 2 families/2 genera/4 species of Bryophytes, 1 Gymnosperm, 6 families/26 genera/279 species of non-orchid monocots, and 3 families/17 genera/48 species of eudicots. This sums up to 12 families/46 genera/331 species of non-orchid mycoheterotrophic plants. I added more specific genera statistics under the flag 'Desriptions', when you access the according family in the phylogenetic tree. Dictyostega orobanchoides, Hypopitys monotropa, Voyria aurantiaca, and V. corymbosa are subdivided in subspecies, Afrothismia winkleri, Monotropastrum humile, Sciaphila yakushimensis and Thismia hexagona have one variety each, and Epirixanthes papuana as well as E. elongatata have a form alba, respectively.
Aditionally, a growing nuber of genera and species of mycoheterotrophic orchids are listed, however, this is not yet complete.
The criterium to be included in this list is "optical achlorophylly" or at least nearly such. We are aware of intergrading dependences on the mycorrhizal fungus even in green plants (see the pages The case of "Pyrola aphylla", Obolaria and Bartonia or Stemona aphylla), as well as of different amounts of chlorophyll content, which often is even hidden by other colouring compounds.
If you want to cite this website I suggest the following pattern: Imhof, S. (year accessed): Mycoheterotrophic plants - How many of them are there? Accessed at mhp.myspecies.info on date xx.xx.20xx.
If you want to cite a particular page/article I suggest: 'Author of the article' (year of the article): 'Title of the article'. In: Imhof, S. (year accessed), Mycoheterotrophic plants - How many of them are there? Accessed at mhp.myspecies.info/node/xxxx on date xx.xx.20xx.
- The prothallus of Lycopodium clavatum L.
- The case of "Pyrola aphylla" (Pyrola picta)
- Mycoheterotrophy - An Introduction
- Polyphyly of mycoheterotrophic orchids and functional influences on floral and molecular characters
- Rhizanthella omissa, a new species of underground orchid from south eastern Australia.
- The case of "Pyrola aphylla" (Pyrola picta)
- Tansley Review No. 69. The biology of myco-heterotrophic ('saprophytic') plants
- The Orchids of Vietnam. Illustrated survey part 3. subfamily Epidendroideae (primitive tribes – Neottieae, Vanilleae, Gastrodieae, Nervilieae)
- Epipogium kentingense Lin & Wu 2012
- Bletia colemanii (Catling) Sosa & M.W.Chase 2020