When: 2009-03-14

Collection location: Missouri Botanical Garden, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA [Click for map]

Who: Patrick Harvey (pg_harvey)

No specimen available


[admin – Sat Aug 14 02:05:15 +0000 2010]: Changed location name from ‘Ridgeway Center, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis’ to ‘Ridgeway Center, Missouri Botanical Garden, Saint Louis, Missouri, USA’

Species Lists


Proposed Names

86% (1)
Used references: Identified by MOBOT staff. Not a fungus, but all orchids
are mycorrhizal. Can anyone tell me what fungi are associated
with this one?

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= Observer’s choice
= Current consensus


Add Comment
orchid seed growth as described is a perfect example of a commensal relationship…
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-03-16 00:52:00 EET (+0200)

good thing fungi are messy eaters! plenty of leftovers for their table companions…

orchid-fungi symbiosis
By: Dan Molter (shroomydan)
2009-03-15 18:57:38 EET (+0200)

The microscopic seeds of endophytic orchids require a fungal symbiont to successfully germinate, but I do not recall the specifics. I think David Attenborough mentioned Mycena as the symbiont for some orchids in Private Lives of Plants.

Epiphytic orchid seeds are so small that they contain no food stores at all. In order for one to grow into a plant, it must germinate in a place that has readily absorbable food. Saprophyte fungi provide this food by secreting enzymes which digest organic matter in the crevices of bark and the crooks of trees where the orchids live. When an orchid ‘spore’ lands on a fungus infested tree branch, it survives on nutrients predigested by fungal secretions until it grows into a little green blob capable of making its own food by photosynthesis.

I imagine any number of fungi could provide this crucial service to the orchid.

as epiphytes, how can they be mycorrhizal?
By: Debbie Viess (amanitarita)
2009-03-15 17:19:08 EET (+0200)

more likely that they have endophytic symbionts…

By: Darvin DeShazer (darv)
2009-03-15 16:31:39 EET (+0200)

I thought ALL orchids were associated with Armillaria or they would not grow. This might be very old or simply wrong info, as I can not place my hands on the reference.