Epidendrum scytocladium Schltr. 1920 GROUP Andean SUBGROUP Vernixium

Side view of Flower

Photos by © Jay Pfahl in situ above Medellin 5/2014


Drawing by © Jimenez, Hágsater & E.Santiago and The AMO Herbario Website

Common Name The Sickle Shaped Column Epidendrum

Flower Size 1.2" [3 cm]

Found in Antioquia department of Colombia at elevations around 2200 to 2700 meters as a medium to large sized, cold growing terrestrial with erect, cane-like, terete towards the base, laterally compressed above, main stem much longer than the branches, leafy stems carrying 13 on the main stem, 4 to 5 on the branches, erect-spreading, articulate, oblong to oblong-lanceolate, obtuse, coriaceous, margin crenulate leaves that blooms in the winter through later spring on a terminal, occuring only once, erect, peduncle very short, laterally compressed, racemose, to 3.2" [to 8 cm] long, laxly, successively several, 15 to 20 flowered inflorescence arising through an oblong spathe with much shorter than the ovary, linear-lanceolate, acuminate, amplexicaul floral bracts and carrying slightly fleshy, non-resupinate flowers.

"Epidendrum scytocladium belongs to the GROUP Andean SUBGROUP Vernixium which is characterized by the monopodial, sub-apical branching habit, erect, inflorescences, lax, non-resupinate flowers, the lip 3-lobe. The species is recognized by the oblong to oblong-lanceolate, obtuse .4 to 3.2 " [1 to 8 cm] long leaves; short peduncle of the inflorescence, yellow to greenish flowers, the lip with the characteristic purple markings around the disc, sepals .48 to .56" [12 to 14 mm] long, petals linear-oblanceolate, 3-lobed lip with the base deeply cordate, and the retrose lateral lobes transversely ovate, falcate, the midlobe transversely oblong, with a minute apicule, ovary 30-42 mm long. It has long been confused with Epidendrum decurviflorum Schltr., an endemic from Cauca department of southern Colombia, which is vegetative and florally very similar, but the inflorescence has a .8 " [2 cm] long peduncle, the sepals are unequal in size, the dorsal is .56" [14 mm] long, the laterals .64" [16 mm] long, petals oblanceolate-sub-spatulate, .48" [12 mm] long, the 3-lobed lip has a slightly cordate base, the lateral lobes transversely oblong-quadrate, the midlobe transversely quadrate, and the ovary up to 1" [25 mm] long. Epidendrum orgyale Lindl. has simultaneous, yellow flowers, an entire, widely cordiform, acute lip, the margin serrulate. Epidendrum cardioglossum Rchb.f. has the inflorescence arching-nutant, short, .8 to 1.6" [2 to 4 cm] long, simultaneous, resupinate, greenish yellow flowers with wide, oblanceolate petals, .12 to .16" [3 to 4 mm] wide." Hagsater etal 2009

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; *Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 7: 149 Schlechter 1920; Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 7: 251 Schlechter 1920; Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. Figuren-Atlas 57: 202 Schlechter 1929 drawing fide; Icones Orchidacearum 12 Plate 1237 Hagsater 2009 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 12 Plate 1292 Hagsater & Sanchez 2009 drawing fide; Icones Orchidacearum 12 Plate 1299 Hagsater 2009 see recognition section; Orquideas, Tesoro de Colombia Vol 2 Ortiz & Uribe 2017 drawing/photo fide; Icones Orchidacearum 18(1) plate 1801 2020 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 18(1) plate 1804 2020 see recognition section