Fregea Rchb.f. 1852

The Genus

Native to Central and South America

Edited 18 May 2007
Nina Rach


Fregea amabilis from TROPICOS

The genus Fregea was originally described by Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach (a.k.a. Rchb.f.; 1824-1889) in Botanische Zeitung. Berlin 10:712-713. 8 Oct. 1852, with F. amabilis as the type species. Notes about the original collection can be found in George Bentham (1800-1884) & Joseph Dalton Hooker (a.k.a. Hook.f.; 1817-1911) iii. 590. The nomenclatural synonym is: Sobralia amabilis (Rchb.f.) L.O. Williams.

A second species, Fregea wercklei was described by Rudolf Schlechter in 1923, in Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 19:9 (Repertorium Specierum Novarum Regni Vegetabilis. Centralblatt fr Sammlung und Veroffentlichung von Einzeldiagnosen neuer Pflanzen. Beihefte. [Edited by Friedrich Fedde]). The nomenclatural synonym is: Sobralia wercklei (Schltr.) L.O. Williams.

Flowers of Fregea are distinguished by the abbreviated column and open, relatively large, lip. Plants are found in Costa Rica and Panama.

L.O. Williams (1946-p.28; 1980-p.134) writes "Fregea, a genus described by Reichenbach, has been maintained as distinct but has no characters which will separate it from Sobralia.-- The original specimen was collected in Chiriqui."

Photo at left is listed in the TROPICOS database as Fregea amabilis (synonym Sobralia amabilis), but more closely represents Fregea wercklei, based on the type drawings of both species.


  • Subfamilia NEOTTIOIDEAE



  • Fregea Species List:

    Fregea amabilis Rchb.f. 1852 [Costa Rica & Panama]
    Fregea wercklei Schlechter 1923 [Costa Rica]


    Printed References:

    Robert L. Dressler (1980) "Checklist of the Orchids of Panama," in: Orchids of Panama. 590 pages (pp. I-XXVI). Missouri Botanical Garden. [as Sob. amabilis]

    Fritz Hamer (1990) "Orchids of Central America: An Illustrated Field Guide (M-Z)," in: Selbyana 11(Suppl.):423-860 [Line drawing on p.594: Palmorchis silvicola]

    C. K. Horich (1993) "Die Heimat von Fregea amabilis Rchb. f.," in: Orchidee 44(5): 239-242.

    Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach (8 Oct. 1852) ____ in: Botanische Zeitung. Berlin 10:712-713. [F. amabilis]

    Heinrich Gustav Reichenbach (1866) ____ in: Beitr. Orch. Centr.-Am. 10, t.2. [F. amabilis]

    Rudolf Schlechter (1923) ___ in: Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 19:9. [F. wercklei]

    Louis Otho Williams (8 March 1946) "Orchidaceae," Flora of Panama. Part III. Fascicle 2., pp. 107-246, in: ANNALS of the Missouri Botanical Garden 33(30): 1-140. [S. amabilis]

    Louis Otho Williams (1980) Orchids of Panama. Missouri Botanic Garden. pp. 1-590. [S. amabilis]


    Online References:

    ING: Index Nominum Genericorum, from the U.S. National Herbarium, Dept. of Systematic Biology - Botany, Smithsonian Institution

    International Plant Names Index [IPNI], www.ipni.org



    Comments? Send e-mail: sobralia@autrevie.com.

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