Epidendrum whittenii Hágsater & Dodson 1999 GROUP Cuchibambae

Photo by © Eric Hunt, plant grown by Dan Newman of Hanging Gardens.

TYPE Drawing

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

THROUGH

Common Name Whitten's Epidendrum [University of Florida Botany Professor and Orchid Enthusiast and friend passed 2019]

Flower Size 1 1/8" [2.75 cm]

Found in the eastern foothills of the Andes of Ecuador and Peru in the tops of tall trees at elevations of 700 to 1400 meters as a miniature sized, warm to cool growing epiphyte with cane-like, horizontal, laterally compressed stems enveloped completely by imbricating leaf-bearing sheaths and carrying numerous, ovate-lanceolate, succulent-like, acute, basally clasping leaves that blooms in the winter through summer on a terminal, sessile, to 4 flowered inflorescence with 3, conduplicate, imbricating, ovate, acute bracts carrying successively single, nocturnally, sweetly scented flowers.

"Epidendrum whittenii is part of the GROUP Cuchibambae characterized by the caespitose habit with simple stems carrying oblique leaves and blooms with 1 to 3 large, successive flowers with a deeply cordate, square lip with small auricles in relation to the rest of the lip arising on a distichous, rachis with large bracts. The species is recognized by the small, caespitose, recumbent plants, the leaves fleshy, in one plane, with 3 apical, conduplicate, imbricating, prominent bracts, the flowers appear singly in succession and are rather large for the plant, white, with an orbicular lip, base cordate, with prominent, irregular keels. We have not recorded any other species which looks quite like it. Epidendrum lueri Hágsater & Dodson and Epidendrum madsenii Hágsater & Dodson have similar-looking leaves, but those plants are pendent and have a completely different habit, the stems branching, inflorescence and simultaneous flowers. Epidendrum cuchibambae Lehm. & Kraenzl. also has large imbricating bracts at the base of the inflorescence, but the plant habit is different, with erect stems and leaves grass-like." Hagsater etal 1999

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; * Icones Orchidacearum 3 The Genus Epidendrum Part 2 Plate 392 Hagsater 1999 drawing good; Icones Orchidacearum 4 Plate 490 Hagsater 2001 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum Peruviarum Plate 653 Bennett & Christenson 2001; Icones Orchidacearum 15 [1] Plate 1517 Hagsater & Sanchez 2015 see recognition section;

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