Elleanthus capitatus (Poepp. & Endl.) Rchb.f. 1862 SECTION Cephaleleyna Photo by © Eric Hunt and His Orchid Website

Plant in situ Mexico Photo courtesy of Weyman Bussey


Common Name The Head Elleanthus

Flower Size 2/5" [1 cm]

Growing alongside Sobralia macrantha near La Esperanza. The flower head is over 4" across. This species has a wide range from Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Venezuela, French Guiana, Guyana, Surinam, Brazil, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Leewards, Trinidad and Tobago and the Windward Islands in cloud and elfin forests at elevations of 40 to 3800 meters as a large sized, clumping, hot to cold growing epiphyte or litho-terrestrial with thick roots and stout stems enveloped basally by tubular sheaths that become basally clasping, long acuminate, distichous, alternate, plicate leaves that become bractlike apically on the stem and blooms in the spring through fall on a terminal, short, enveloped by membranceous sheaths, many flowered, capitate or subcapitate, racemose inflorescence with an apical head of flowers that are covered in a glutinous material.

Synonyms Bletia capitata R.Br. in W.T.Aiton 1813; Elleanthus casapensis (Rchb.f.) Rchb.f. 1862; Elleanthus cephalophorus (Rchb.f.) Rchb.f. 1862; Elleanthus cephalotus Garay & H.R.Sweet 1972; Elleanthus cynarocephalus (Rchb. f.) Rchb. f. 1862; Elleanthus zamorensis Garay 1978; Epidendrum capitatum Sessť & Moc. 1894; *Evelyna capitata Poepp. & Endl. 1836; Evelyna casapensis Rchb.f. 1852; Evelyna cephalophora Rchb.f. 1852; Evelyna cynarocephala Rchb. f. 1856

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Bonplandia Rchb.f 1856 as Evelyna cynarocephala; Bonplandia Rchb.f 1856 as Evelyna capitata; Symbolae Antillanae Vol VI Orchidaceae Urban 1909; Flora of Jamaica Fawcett & Rendle 1910 drawing ok; Repert. Sp. Nov. Regni. Veg. Beih. 19: 79. Costa Rica Schlechter 1923; Repert. Sp. Nov. Regni. Veg. Beih. 19: 163. Costa Rica Schlechter 1923; Flore Descriptive des Antilles Francaises H. Stehle 1939 drawing good; Flora Brasilica Vol XII II Hoehne 1945 drawing ok; The Orchids of Panama L.O. Williams & P Allen 1946; AOS Bulletin Vol 27 No 6 1958; Native Orchids of Trinidad Schultes 1960; Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965; AOS Bulletin Vol 35 No 1 1966 photo; Venezuelan Orchids Vol 4 Dunsterville & Garay 1966; Flora de Venezuela Foldats Volumen XV Part 1 1969; Flora of the Lesser Antilles Garay & Sweet 1974 as E cephalotus drawing fide; Las Orquedias De El Salvador Vol 1 Hamer 1974 drawing/photo fide; Flora of Ecuador No 9 225[1] Garay 1978 drawing good; Flora of Ecuador No 9 225[1] Garay 1978 as E casapensis drawing good; Flora of Ecuador No 9 225[1] Garay 1978 as E zamorensis drawing good; AOS Bulletin Vol 48 No 5 1979 photo; AOS Bulletin Vol 48 No 7 1979; Die Orchideen lieferung 13 Schlechter/Brieger 1983 photo good/drawing ok; The Orchids of Surinam Werkhoven 1986 as E cephalotus photo fide; Selbyana Vol 10 Orchids of Central America Hamer 1988 as E cynarocephalus drawing ok; The Orchids of Cuba Llamacho & Larramendi 2005 as Elleanthus capitatus; Orchidaceae Antillanae Nir 2000 as Elleanthus capitatus; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum Plate 672 Dodson 1982 as E cynarocephalus drwaing ok; Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 2 Dodson 2001 drawing/photo fide; Orchids of Bolivia Vol 2 Laelinae Vasquez and Ibisch 2004; Algunas Orquideas de Oaxaca Suarez 2004 photo fide; Orchid Species of Peru Zelenko Bermudez 2009 as Ell sp pg 120 photo ok; Orchid Species of Peru Zelenko Bermudez 2009 as Ell sp pg 122 photo ok; Orchids of Costa Rica Vol 2 Morales 2009 as E cynarocephala photo fide; An Illustrated Field Guide to the Orchids of the Yotoco Forest Reserve Colombia Kolanowska, Escobar, Sanchez & Szlachetko 2011 as Evelyna capitata drawing ok; Flora of Ecuador No 87 225[3] Orchidaceae Dodson & Luer 2010 drawing/photo ok; Guia de Orquideas de Chiapas Carlos Rommel Beutelspacher Baigts 2013 as E cynarocephala photo fide; Algunas Orquideas de Mexico Tomo 1 Suarez 2013 as E cynarocephala photo fide