Various taxonomic systems have been proposed for the Orchidaceae. Dressler and Dodson (1960) divided the Orchidaceae into two subfamilies: Cypripedioideae and Orchidoideae. The Orchidoideae is the larger subfamily and they considered it the more advanced because the androecium is reduced to one anther. In contrast, the Cypripedioideae contains species with either two or three anthers. Dressler and Dodson considered the Apostasieae and Cypripedieae as tribes in the subfamily Cypripedioideae, but maintained that the Apostasieae may not be related to the Cypripedieae even though they show the same basic plan of flower structure. The Apostasieae have unspecialized four-locular anthers with powdery pollen, the most primitive pollenunit condition in the Orchidaceae. In the Cypripedieae the grains are not united into larger units, but the pollen is rather viscid, a condition also considered primitive. Dressler (1974) later classified both groups as subfamilies,
Apostasioideae and Cypripedioideae, and described them as relict groups, each with a few living genera.
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