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a genus of plants of the family Orchidaceae. The plants are perennial herbs with straight, usually leafy, stems. The tubers are entire in some species and palmately dissected in others. (In the latter case, the plants are sometimes classified in the genus Dactylorhiza.) The flowers are irregular and in spicate inflorescences. The perianth consists of six bracts: the central bract is usually three-lobed with a spur at the base, and three others or the remaining five are formed into a galea. The fruit is a capsule.

There are about 100 species, distributed in Eurasia (primarily in the temperate belt), in North Africa, on the Canary Islands, on Madeira Island, and in North America. The USSR has about 40 species. O. militaris, which has oval entire tubers and spicate inflorescences of pink or light violet flowers, grows in the forest zone along the edge of forests, in forest meadows, and in floodplain meadows. O. maculata, which has palmately dissected tubers, grows in boggy forests and meadows in the European USSR. O. mascula is found in the European USSR and the Caucasus.

The tubers of some species are used as food and are a source of salep (dried tubers), which is used to prepare a mucilaginous decoction for coating the digestive tract in the case of inflammation. The preparation is taken orally or by means of an enema. Some species are cultivated as ornamentals.


References in periodicals archive ?
Both those successful but less desirable species, and the more sensitive species, such as white trillium (Trillium grandiflorum) and showy orchis, should be monitored for long-term changes in abundance.
The 19-year-old Albanian, who lives with his adoptive family in Maes yr Orchis, Morganstown, was found guilty of people trafficking for sexual exploitation by a jury yesterday.
Agee loathed many of the assignments he was given; he was tempted, for example, to begin his orchid article this way: "The orchid gets its name from the Greek orchis, which means testicle; and there are those who condemn that title as understating the case, since to them the flower resembles nothing printable so much as a psychopathic nightmare in technicolor.
Economic crops include coffee, coconut, and papaya; medicinals cover Artemisia and Costus; fodder and agricultural crops include Phleum, Lolium, and Triticale; horticultural species include Orchis and Allium; and forest plants are represented by Populus species.
A species of orchis also emits a plaintive cry when it is pulled according to a belief recorded in both Germany and Slovakia (Schell [1901], 'Der Volksglauben im Bergischen', in Archiv fur Religionswiss.
Orchis rotundifolia (Banks): Round-Leaved, Small Round-Leaved or Fly-specked Orchid; Rhizome Orchis
It was 10-1 a Scottish-trained winner at the start of the competition, but two `home' second round wins plus another qualifier mean a real chance of the title staying in Scotland for the first time since Cosha Orchis in 1974.
That association and shared interest culminated, in 1968, with Bob buying his first boat, a 45-foot narrowboat he named Orchis after his love of wild orchids.
From mid-April into early May, jack-in-the-pulpit, showy orchis, and expanses of phacelia are among the most breathtaking bloomers.
Pollination of Orchis caspia: a nectarless plant which deceives the pollinators of nectariferous species from other plant families.
The Roots of the Orchis, the Iuli of Chestnuts': The Odor of Male Solitude.