Sections in Barkeria

Barkeria is monophyletic in that the genus is descended from a common evolutionary ancestor. However, within the genus there are obvious clusters of closely-related species.  Recently, molecular data (DNA analysis) corroborates this perspective and provides evidence that the similarities in growth habits, morphology, and biogeography obligates an update to the outdated classification scheme used informally by researchers.  We formally propose the concept of sections for the different clades in Barkeria and prioritize the names by using the first species formally described for each section.  Please note that it has been customary to label the Scandens section as the Lindleyana group; but we disagree with this because the common ancestor of all of the species in that section was Mexican in origin and so a Mexican species would be more correct based on the most recent cladistics data available to researchers.  

Obovata Section

    • Thin, flattened roots
    • Star-shaped flowers
    • Petals project over lip
    • Warm-growing
    • Riparian habitats
    • All species are twig epiphytes
    • Inflorescences are panicles
    • Caespitose, fusiform pseudobulbs
    • Challenging for growers (Medium Difficulty)

Scandens Section

    • Thick, terete roots
    • Subcaespitose, creeping or climbing
    • Intermediate temperatures with cool nights
    • Prominent keels on lips
    • Majority of species are rupicolous
    • Inflorescences are racemes
    • Cane-like, foliaceous pseudobulbs
    • Easy-to-grow for beginners

Uniflora Section

    • Thin, flattened roots
    • Reddish-purple spotting on leaves/stems
    • Wide column tightly adpressed to lip
    • Warmest-growing
    • Inland basins or Pacific coast habitat
    • Species are twig epiphytes (short-lived)
    • Remontant blooming
    • Inflorescences are racemes or pauciflorous panicles
    • Very challenging for growers (experts only)

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