BOTN 201 - Department of Biology Herbarium - TAMU
Images of the Navasota Flora - 11 June 1995
The orchid family (Orchidaceae) is the largest monocot family and, perhaps, the largest flowering plant family in terms of species diversity. There are about 100 orchid species in North America North of Mexico and ca. 1,000 orchid species in Panama. Thus, as is the case with many families, diveristy is partitioned and, in this case, the center of differentiation is in the tropics. Orchids are always a rarity in temperate floras and, in areas such as College Station - which feature high levels of economic development and low levels of environmental awareness - habitat destruction impacts the few orchids that are part of our native flora. Discovery of a 'new' temperate orchid species is therefore an unusual event.
A new orchid species, Calopogon oklahomensis, has been described by Douglas H. Goldman (A new species of Calopogon from the Midwestern United States. 1995. Lindleyana 10(1): 37-42.), a student of orchids from the Univeristy of Texas Department of Botany. This report provides detailed information on characters that distinguish C. oklahomensis from the three other Calopogon species (all North American). It also points out that a species is circumscribed by both key characters and geography. Both aspects function to define the species as a biological entity. In this case, populations of the Navasota Valley(known from Lick Creek Park) appear to inhabit the western extreme of the range of distribution. For more information on the Orchidaceae, check out links from the Classification/Information Matrix .
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Last updated by HDW on 13 June 1995