The column or gynostemium morphology is an important feature of the orchid flower because it is one of the key elements for determining to which genus the orchid belongs. The position of anther containing the pollinia or pollinaria, the viscidium and the stigma are important because they can preprogram the position where the viscidium is attached to the visiting insect. This has to be such a position that the insect cannot remove the pollinaria. At the same time the position should be such, that the pollinia are pushed against the stigma when the insect searches for nectar. Our book “The flower of the European orchid – Form and function” has images of the columns of all orchid genera as well as microscopic sections.
The microscopic sections generally show a lateral view of the orchid flower in bud. They are very useful in showing the complete flower structure and the adaptations for augmenting the contact between viscidium and visiting insect, the potential pollinator. Our book “The flower of the European orchid – Form and function” has images of microscopic sections of all European orchid genera as well as images of the columns.