Genus Apostasia

Apostasia Blume,
Bijdr. (1825) 423

Sympodial terrestrial plants without rhizomes. Stem elongated, few- to many-leaved. Leaves spirally arranged, sheathing at the base, glabrous, plicate, persistent, convolute, thin-textured; apices tubular-filiform. Inflorescence a terminal panicle. Flowers small, not resupinate. Sepals free. Petals free, rather similar to the sepals. Lip without spur, not mobile, similar to the petals. Column-foot absent. Fertile anthers 2, pollen not aggregated into pollinia, powdery. Ovary glabrous.

Sri Lanka, India, Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, Australia; about 8 species.

Distribution in the Philippines
Luzon (Camarines), Mindoro, Palawan, Sibuyan, Dinagat; 2 species.

Terrestrial in undisturbed forest at moderate altitudes.

Apostasia is a genus with very simple inconspicuous flowers, in which the lip is similar to the petals. Apart from Paphiopedilum and its relatives (comprising subfamily Cypripedioideae), Apostasia is the only orchid genus that has two fertile anthers. It is clearly allied to the genus Neuwiedia, which has more or less the same area of distribution and ecology. Neuwiedia, however, has three fertile anthers, in addition to several other differences. These two genera comprise the subfamily Apostasioideae, which occupies a basal position in the phylogeny of extant Orchidaceae. Species of Apostasia have little or no horticultural value, and as they are difficult to keep alive they are hardly ever seen in cultivation.