Cranichis fertilis (F. Lehm. & Kraenzl.) Schltr. 1921

Photo by Lourens Grobler.


Common Name The Fertile Cranichis

Flower Size 1/10" [2 mm]

Found in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru in montane cloud forests at elevations of 1000 to 3000 meters as a miniature sized, cool to cold growing terrestrial with a basal rosette of narrowly ovate-lanceolate, acute to subacuminate, gradually narrowing below into the conduplicate petiolate base leaves that blooms at most any time of the year on a terminal, slender, erect, puberulent, 10.4" [26 cm] long, loosely several to many flowered inflorescence with 1 to 2, foliaceous sheaths with ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, pubescent, as long as the ovaries floral bracts and carrying non-resupinate, pubescent, campanulate flowers.

Distinguished by the foliaceous peduncle, the pubescent ovary, the cymbiform lip with the same texture throughout, that is 3 lobed and the terminal lobe is smaller and the pubescent sepals are less than 3mm long.

CAUTION I have found some confusion here, The photo above fits most of the references I have as C fertilis but Orchid Species of Peru Zelenko [often wrong] has another species photo for this one with no pubescence and a wider more hooded lip that seems to be C candida but it is not cited from Peru by Kew. The orchid in the photo above is listed in the same book as Exalaria parviflora which all other references have as a synonym of C fertilis and it has pubescence on the inflorescence and the back side of the sepals and a more globose hidden lip. As I have not seen the type drawing I cannot be sure of this determination, but I assume that the Zelenko book is wrong and may be of a plant that was from Brazil but was in a collection in Peru.

Synonyms Cranichis koehleri Schltr. 1921; Cranichis pycnantha Schltr. 1920; Exalaria parviflora (C.Presl) Garay & G.A.Romero 1999; *Goodyera fertilis F.Lehm. & Kraenzl. 1899; Ophrys parviflora C. Presl 1827; Ponthieva fertilis (F.Lehm. & Kraenzl.) Salazar 2009

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Die Orchideen der Sudamerikanischen Kordillerenstaaten II Colombia Schlechter 1920 as C pycnantha; Die Orchideen der Sudamerikanischen Kordillerenstaaten IV Peru Schlechter 1921 as C koehleri; Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 47: 19 1929 as C pycnantha drawing fide; Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 47: 106 1929 drawing fide; Flora Brasilica Vol XII II 13-43 Hoehne 1945; Flora Brasilica Vol XII II 13-43 Hoehne 1945 as C koehleri; Flora Brasilica Vol XII II 13-43 Hoehne 1945 as C pycnantha; Orchids of Peru Vol 1 Schweinfurth 1958 as C pycnantha; Flora de Venezuela Foldats Volumen XV Part 1 1969 as C pycnantha drawing fide; Orchids of Peru 1st supplement Schweinfurth 1970 as C pycnantha ; Venezuelan Orchids Vol 5 Dunsterville & Garay 1972 drawing fide; Flora of Ecuador No 9 225[1] Garay 1978 drawing fide; Orchids of Venezuela, An Illustrated Field Guide Vol 1 Dunsterville & Garay 1979 drawing ok; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum Plate 366 Dodson 1980 drawing good; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum Series II Orchids of Peru Plate 0035 Dodson & Bennett 1989 drawing good; Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 1 Dodson 1993 photo fide; Icones Orchidacearum Peruviarum Plate 428 Bennett & Christenson 1998 drawing fide; Harvard Papaers in Botany Vol 4 # 2 6 Schedulae Orchidum II Garay 1999 as Exalaria paarviflora drawing fide; Orchids of Venezuela [An illustrated field guide] Vol. 1 Ramiro and Carnevali 2000 as Exalaria parviflora drawing ok; Rudolf Schlechter Die Orchideen Band 1C lieferung 41 pg 2565 - 2625 Brieger 2001 as Exalaria parviflora drawing fide; Orquideas Nativas del Tachira Cesar Fernandez 2003 as Exalaria parviflora photo fide; Genera Orchidacearum Vol 3 Orchioideae Part 2 Pridgeon, Cribb, Chase and Rasmusen 2003 as Exalaria parviflora drawing good; Macchu Picchu Orchids Christenson 2003 as Exalaria parviflora/C pycnantha; Flora Of Ecuador # 76 225[2] Dodson & Luer 2005; Orchid Species of Peru Zelenko Bermudez 2009 photo not = C antioquensis; Orchid Species of Peru Zelenko Bermudez 2009 as Exalaria parviflora photo fide; Orchids of the Department of Valle de Cauca Colombia Vol 1 Kolanowska and Szlachetko 2012 as Exalaria parviflora drawing fide/photo fide; Orquideas de Farallones de Cali Galindo-Tarazona, Haelterman, Zuluaga Trochez and Sebastian Moreno 2020 photo fide