Apostasia nuda

The genus Apostasia contains 8 primitive or basal terrestrial orchids, i.e. they are close to the common ancestor of all orchids.

It belongs to the family Orchidaceae, sub-family Apostasioideae.


They have up to 30 white or yellow flowers. The flowers of this genus are not upside down as in most orchids.

Apostasia has 2 fertile, abaxial stamens instead of 1 as in other orchids. A. nuda, A. elliptica and A. latifolia have no staminode (sterile stamen), the other species do. The presence of a staminode is a primitive characteristic.


Himalaya, India, Sri Lanka, New Guinea and northern Australia


They are terrestrial orchids that grow in moist conditions.

Apostasia distribution

Source: Dalton Holland Baptista

Apostasia distribution


Apostasia: from the Latin apostasia, derived from the ancient Greek apostasia (defection, rebellion).


The genus Apostasia comprises 8 species:

  • Apostasia elliptica
  • Apostasia latifolia
  • Apostasia nuda
  • Apostasia odorata (type species)
  • Apostasia parvula
  • Apostasia ramifera
  • Apostasia shenzhenica
  • Apostasia wallichii