(pronounced: go-VEEN-ee-ah)


Cymbidieae subtribe Goveniinae

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Caespitose terrestrials arising from corms, rarely with rhizomes. Leaves two, plicate, petiolate, the petioles jointly enclosed in papery tubular bracts. Inflorescences erect long-pedunculate racemes, basal, enclosed in the petiolar bracts, the floral bracts inconspicuous. Flowers cupped. Sepals and petals free, spreading, the dorsal sepal and petals forming a hood overthe column. Lip unlobed, clawed, flexibly hinged to the column foot, without callus. Column stout, arching, with subterminal wings and a short foot; pollinia 4, on a common stipe and viscidium.


Honoring J. R. Gowen, an early horticulturist and plant collector in Assam.


A genus of some 20 species ranging from Mexico to Peru and the Caribbean. The species-level taxonomy of and older literature on Govenia are problematic because of limitations in studying traditional museum specimens.

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Correll, D. S. 1947. Revision of the genus Govenia. Lloydia 10:218-228.

Dressler, R. L. 1965. Notes on the genus Govenia in Mexico. Brittonia 17:266-277.

Gonzalez Tamayo, R. 1993. Une nouvelle espèce de Govenia du Mexique occidental. L’Orchidoph. 109:228-232.

Greenwood, E. W. 1987. Govenia bella, una nueva especie de Oaxaca, Mexico. Orquidea (Mex.) 10:229-246.

Greenwood, E. W. 1991. The Florida Govenia. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 60(9):867-869.

Greenwood, E. 1993. Govenia dressleriana, another new species rescued from confusion. Orquidea (Mex.) 13(1-2):165-172.

Salazar, G. and E. Greenwood 1993. Govenia praecox, a new orchid species from Veracruz. Orquidea (Mex.) 13(1-2):113-120.