Flora of the Hawaiian Islands
Monocotyledon Literature for Phaius tankervilleae
Wagner et al., 1990, 1999.
   Orchidaceae -- The Orchid Family Bibliography
      Phaius tankervilleae

Common name(s): Chinese ground orchid, nun's orchid, nun's-hood
General Information
DistributionNative from southern China throughout Malesia to Australia and New CaledoniaIn the Hawaiian Islands, naturalized on Kaua`i, O`ahu, Moloka`i, Lana`i, Maui, Hawai`i.

Terrestrial or rarely epiphytic perennial herbs up to 13 dm tall, pseudobulbs crowded along and obscuring rhizomes, globose to ovoid, 3-7 cm in diameter, partly enclosed by clasping leaf bases.
Leaves several per pseudobulb, erect or ascending, weakly plicate, elliptic to elliptic-lanceolate, 30-120 cm long, 4-10 cm wide, veins conspicuously raised on lower surface, margins entire, apex acuminate to acute, base broadly attenuate.
Flowers white to cream-colored externally, pale to dark rusty brown within, fragrant, in erect, racemose inflorescences arising from the pseudobulb, 5-13 dm long, peduncles stout, inflorescences subtended by a series of foliaceous bracts, each flower ascending or horizontal, gradually becoming pendent with age, subtended by a conspicuous lanceolate to narrowly obovate bract 3-4 cm long; sepals spreading, linear-lanceolate, 4-5.5 cm long; petals spreading, elliptic to obovate, 4-5.5 cm long; labellum white to cream with mauve markings, sometimes also with yellow markings, apex pale pink to white, horizontal or pendent, salverform or funnelform, adnate to base of column, distinctly 3-lobed, lateral lobes embracing the column, middle lobe with conspicuous undulate margins and apiculate apex, base spurred, the spur 6-8 mm long; column clavate, 15-20 mm long; rostellum absent; stigma deeply recessed. Capsules oblong, ca. 6 cm long.
2n = 42, 46, 48