Coryanthes page

SUBFAMILY Epidendroideae, TRIBE Gongoreae, SUBTRIBE Stanhopeinae.

The genus Coryanthes has 30 species in the new world from Guatemala to Bolivia. It is a difficult genus because of it's rarity in nature as well as in cultivation. It was first described by Hooker in 1831 and he used C. maculata as his type species. Coryanthes has large ribbed pseudobulbs with 2 or 3 thin veined leaves. The inflorescence arises from the base of the pseudobulb and hangs straight down through the medium. For this reason a wire basket or mounting on a slab of tree fern is mandatory to accomodate the bloom spike. One of the most complex flowers of the orchid family is seen in the genus Coryanthes. The parts of the Coryanthes flower are, the epichile {#1}, faucet gland or pleurida {#2}, mesochile {#3}, hypochile {#4}, pedicel {#5}, lateral sepals {#6}, dorsal sepal {#7}, petals {#8}, entrance to the stigmatic cavity {#9}, and the pouch like bucket or labellum{#10}. The flower bud of Coryanthes is quite interesting and has the appearance of the man in the moon. Coryanthes grow in antnests in lowland humid and wet forests up to 1200m. The genus is found in conjunction with mud antnests, of the ant genera Camponotus and Azteca, that resemble hornets nests around a branch of a large tree. They are also normally found with Epidendrum Imatophylum Lindl and the non-orchidaceous Peperomiaceae and Gesneriaceae to list a few.

Coryanthes are pollinated by Male bees of the genera Euglossa, Eulaema and Euplusia are the sole pollenators of the Coryanthes. They are attracted to the plant by the flower's heavy odor. The bee lands on the hypochile and searches for the fragrance compounds. When the bee goes below the hood it looses it's footing on the hard waxy mesochile surface and falls into the bucket which is filled with a mucilaginous liquid which the plant secretes from the pleuridia, or faucet gland, which is at the base of the column. The bees only escape is to crawl through the tunnel formed by the epichile of the lip and the column. The bee first topuches the stigma and then the gluey viscidium which attaches to the back of the bee. The most incredible part of this process is that the same bee has to go and fall into a flower again to achieve pollination.

Coryanthes Species List

    The species list below was composed with information from the following sources.

    The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Orchids by Alec Pridgeon. Published by the Timber Press

    The Manual Of Cultivated Orchid Species By Bechtel, Cribb and Launert, Published by The MIT Press

    Native Colombian Orchids Volumes 1-6 Published by Editorial Colina By the Colombian Orchid Society

    An Introduction to the Orchids Of Mexico By Andrew Wiard Published by Comstock Cornell

    Orchids Of Brazil By Jim & Barbara McQueen Published by Timber Press

    Field Guide to the Orchids of Costa Rica And Panama By Robert L Dressler Published by Comstock Cornell

    Orchids of Guatemala and Belize By Oakes Ames And Donovan Correl Published by Dover

    ~albertinae Karst, xuelas - See C. maculata

  1. alborosea C. Schweinf
  2. ~balfouriana Hort. ex Sander - See C. Bruchmulleri Rchb.f

  3. barkeri Beer
  4. -
  5. bergoldii Kenn. exDodson
  6. - Ecuador - Alt 1000m
  7. bicalcarata Schltr.
  8. - Northeast Peru - epiphyte - lowland forest

    ~biflora Barb, Rodr. - See C. bruchmulleri

  9. boyi Mansf.
  10. -
  11. brandtiae F.C.Lehm.
  12. bruchmulleri Rchb.f.
  13. - Colombia
  14. bungerothii Rolfe
  15. cataniapoensis Romero & Carnevali
  16. - Venezuela and Guyana
  17. destillatoria Linden & rchb.f
  18. -

    ~elegantissima Mast. - See C. elegantium

  19. elegantium Linden&Rchb.f.
  20. - Colombia and Western Ecuador - Alt 0-1000m - - epiphyte - Hot grower
  21. eximia Gerard
  22. fieldingii Lindl.
  23. Venezuela and Guyana
  24. flava Gerlach
  25. - Colombia - Alt 0-1000m - lowland forest - hot grower
  26. gerlachiana Senghas & Seeger
  27. gernotii Gerlach & Romero
  28. horichiana Jenny
  29. hunteriana Schltr.
  30. - Panama
  31. kefersteiniana Rchb.f.
  32. leferenziorum Gerlach
  33. -
  34. leucocorys Rolfe
  35. - Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador - Alt 0-1000m - Epiphyte - Hot grower
  36. macrantha [Hkr.]Hkr.
  37. - Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Trinadad and Guyana - Alt 0-200m - Flowers in Summer - Lowland forest - Epiphyte - Hot grower
  38. macrocorys Rolfe
  39. -

    ~maculata [Hkr.] - See C. speciosa

    ~maculata lindl. - See C. speciosa var punctata

    ~var albertine Lindl.- See C speciosa var punctata

    ~var fournieri Andre- See C. speciosa var punctata

    ~var parkeri Hkr.- See C. speciosa var punctata

    ~var punctata Lindl.- See C. speciosa var punctata

    ~var speciosa Andre - See C. speciosa

    ~var splendens Cogn.- See C. speciosa

    ~var vitrina Rolfe - See C. speciosa

    ~var vittelina Morren - See C. speciosa var vittelina

  40. mastersiana Lehm.
  41. - Colombia - Alt 0-200m - Flowers in Summer - Epiphyte - Hot grower
  42. misasii Gerlach and Romero
  43. - Colombia
  44. orbiculata colenso
  45. pachyceras Schumann
  46. -
  47. panamenses Gerlach
  48. parkeri [Hkr.]Kennedy
  49. pegiae G. ROmero
  50. - Venezuela

    ~picturata Rchb.f. a variant of C. speciosa - Belize -

    ~powellii Schltr. - See C. maculata

    ~punctata Beer - See C. speciosa var punctata

  51. rodriguezii Hoehne
  52. rutkisii Foldats
  53. - Venezuela
  54. seegeri Gerlach
  55. - Peru
  56. senghasiana Gerlach
  57. - Peru
  58. speciosa Hkr.
  59. - Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Trinidad - Alt up to 1200m - Flowers in summer - epiphyte - Lowland forest

    var alba Lindl. -

    var espiritosantense Ruschi

    var exima Cogn.

    var punctata [Beer]Gerlach

    var sumneriana Gerlach

    var vittelina Morren

    ~splendens Barb. Rodr. - See C. maculata

    ~sumneriana Lindl. - See C. speciosa var sumneriana

  60. toulemondiana
  61. - Colombia - Alt 0-1200m - Flowers in ? - Epiphyte - lowland forest - Epiphyte, Hot grower
  62. tricuspidata Gerlach
  63. - Ecuador
  64. trifolata Schweinf.
  65. - Peru
  66. vasquezii Dodson
  67. -
  68. verrucolineata Gerlach
  69. - Peru
  70. vierae Gerlach
  71. - Colombia
  72. wolfi Lehm.
  73. syn. of elegantium

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