(pronounced: pon-THEE-vah)


Cranichideae subtribe Cranichidinae

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Rosulate terrestrials and epiphytes with fleshy, fasciculate roots. Stems very short (acaulous). Leaves few, basal, glabrous or densely villose, petiolate. Inflorescences erect or rarely pendent, scapose racemes, few to many-flowered. Flowers not resupinate. Sepals and petals dissimilar, the sepals free, spreading, the petals strongly oblique-asymmetric, long-clawed, the base of the claw fused to the column to usually +/- half the length of the column, yeld subparallel with the inner faces usually touching. Lip boat-shaped, three-lobed with the midlobe small, usually bluntly apiculate, without callus. Column short, the anther terminal, the rostellum needle-like; pollinia 4, attached to a common viscidium.


A genus of about 55 species distributed throughout the new world tropics.

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Bock, I. 1998. Ponthieva maculata Lindl. und Ponthieva brenesii Schltr. kritisch betrachtet. Die Orchidee 49(1):2-6.

Garay, L. A. 1995. The identity of the genus Androchilus. Lindleyana 10(2):127-129.

Greenwood, E. W. 1986. Ponthieva angustipetala Greenwood, una nueva especie inesperada del sur de Mexico. Orquidea (Mex.) 10:7-26.

Greenwood, E. W. 1990. Cranichis schaffneri.

lectotypification and transfer to Ponthieva. Orquidea (Mex.) 12:54-56.

Sauleda, R. P. and R. M. Adams 1980. The taxonomic status of Ponthieva brittonae Ames (Orchidaceae). Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 107(4):544-545.

Senghas, K. 1989. Ponthieva maculata 1845. Die Orchidee 40(2): Orchideenkartei Seite 561-562.