Pseudorchis albida (L.) Á.Löve & D.Löve – a new orchid species to Romanian flora

N.E.D.G. Anghelescu, H. Kertész, L. Balogh, M. Balogh, N. Kigyossy, M.I. Georgescu, S.A. Petra, F. Toma
In this study we present the first confirmed record of Pseudorchis albida to Romanian orchid flora. The newly discovered population was digitally photographed for the first time in June, 2020, within Harghita Mădăraș, a Natura 2000 protected area. Pseudorchis is a monospecific, palearctic genus, covering the boreal alpine, subalpine and temperate zones of from Europe to the Russian Far East, to the Northern Urals and Kamchatka and from Eastern Canada to Greenland and into northwest Siberia. According to our recent findings, in Romania, the genus is represented by its unique representative (type) species, Pseudorchis albida, and by one of its two subspecies, Pseudorchis albida subsp. tricuspis. The other representative subspecies, Pseudorchis albida subsp. straminea is mostly restricted to cold-temperate and palearctic areas of Eurasia. We recorded and compared detailed in vivo morphometric data for 42 morphometric characters (1*-42*) and 49 morphological/phenotypical characters (1-49). Also, digital ultra-macro photographs of various floral parts and reproductive organs were taken. General morphological variations within Pseudorchis albida and Pseudorchis albida subsp. tricuspis are comparatively low. However, the structure of the labellum and the basal leaves show significant biometric, phenotypical differences, which strongly differentiate the two taxons. Based on the small distribution area and the reduced number of individuals of the Pseudorchis albida population in Romania, we emphasize that it should be classified as Critically Endangered (CR). Considering its various potential threats such as destruction or degradation of habitat, the anthropic factor – mainly tourism and uncontrolled grazing, substantial conservation measures should be taken in consideration, which may ensure the long-term persistence of this newly discovered taxon to Romanian flora.
Anghelescu, N.E.D.G., Kertész, H., Balogh, L., Balogh, M., Kigyossy, N., Georgescu, M.I., Petra, S.A. and Toma, F. (2023). Pseudorchis albida (L.) Á.Löve & D.Löve – a new orchid species to Romanian flora. Acta Hortic. 1368, 407-422
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2023.1368.50
orchids, taxon, pollination, morphology, plant, nature, insects, conservation

Acta Horticulturae