Podial - Monopodial - Sympodial: Examples


Chiloschista segawai. One "expert" did not like my article and keep arguing with me. I asked him why a plant like Chiloschista with no leaves and visible stem or growth is "Monopodial". He replied: "It's growth is not visible because it grew before it started growing". Does that make any sense to you? I have no idea what he is talking about.



Pterygodium catholica. Pterygodium grows from tubers and not from pseudobulbs.

Eulophia spectabilis. A terrestrial orchid that looks monopodial but it is not. It grows from underground "pseudobulbs" and not from tubers. Most Eulophia orchids have visible above the ground pseudobulbs. Propagation by division is possible.


Dendrobium lindleyi. Typical sympodial orchid


Dendrobium canaliculatum. Typical sympodial orchid



NOW: Judge for yourself:



Plant A and Plant B are very similar. Plant A is "vandaceous" and therefore automatically "monopodial", Plant B is a non-vandaceous orchid and therefore automatically "sympodial". In my books, both are sympodial.



Very few people observe plants and most will never notice the two "suckers" clearly visible. Soon or later, the suckers will form their own root system and continue to grow "attached" to the main plant. Sometime in the future, the 3 plants will be old enough to be divided. (Propagated by Division). In my books, that is sympodial. I call them "suckers" and not "keikis" because they grow from the bottom up.


Psygmorchis pusilla

If you look at it carefully you will notice that it grows the same way as many monopodial orchids and certainly very similar to Vandas. No pseudobulbs, no suckers, grows in one direction, no terminal flowers, etc. It is "sympodial" because of its relationship with oncidium, although it looks and behaves nothing like Oncidium. I agree, it is sympodial; however, it is sympodial because it produces "keikis" and it can be propagated by Division. I have done it. The relationship with Oncidium was never considered and has nothing to do with it.