Epidendrum pachystele Hágsater, Edquén, E.Santiago & Salas Guerr. 2018 GROUP Coronatum SUBGROUP Artisepalum
TYPE LCDP /TYPE Photo © by J. D. Edquén P. and The AMO Herbario Website
Common Name The Thick Column Epidendrum
Flower Size 1.2" [3 cm]
Found in northern Peru, from the border of the departments of San Martín and Amazonas, on the drier western slopes of the Alto Mayo, on Polylepis sp. (Rosaceae), at elevations of 3400 to 3650 meters as a medium sized, cold growing epiphyte with simple, cane-like, thin, terete at base, laterally compressed towards the apex, (but not ancipitose); base covered by tubular, non-foliar, scarious sheaths and carrying 8 to 9, distributed along the apical 2/3 of the stems, alternate, distichous, articulate, coriaceous, sub-erect with respect to the stem, green, concolor; leaf sheaths, tubular, striated, red-brown; blades unequal, progressively larger, sometimes the apical leaf much reduced and somewhat bract-like, narrowly lanceolate, obtuse to sub-acute, margin crenate, somewhat revolute leaves that blooms in the summer and again in the late winter and early spring on a terminal, without a spathe, peduncle 1.0-3.0 x 0.4 cm long, terete, green, concolor, thick; rachis 6-8 cm long, nearly totally hidden by the flowers, 2.8 to 4.4" [7 to 11 cm] long, apical, racemose, densely flowered, arching-nutant, successively, from the middle towards the ends, eventually all open simultaneously, 9 to 18 flowered inflorescence with shorter to nearly as long as the ovary, linear-triangular, acuminate, embracing floral bracts and carrying , resupinate flowers with the sepals and petals buff to olive-green, somewhat tinged pink near the base, lip deep to pale purple, somewhat turning buff towards the margins, column greenish tinged fuchsia towards the apical half; fragrance especially strong from morning to mid-day, agreeable, reminiscent of mint.
"Epidendrum pachystele belongs to the GROUP Coronatum SUBGROUP Artisepalum which has a caespitose habit, simple stems, sub-coriaceous leaves, a racemose inflorescence without spathes, and the aristate sepals; the lip may be 3-lobed or entire and bicallose or ecallose, and then with several mid-ribs on the disc. The new species is recognized by the entire, reniform lip in outline, the margins somewhat revolute, lacking calli, and with 3 low parallel ribs on the disc of the lip; lateral sepals .76 to .8" [19 to 20 mm] long, petals narrowly oblong, slightly spatulate, the base strongly oblique, apex rounded. Epidendrum aristisepalum has cream-green to brown-orange flowers, a prominent 3-lobed lip, lateral sepals are .44 to .64" [11-16 mm] long, and petals elliptic, acute. Epidendrum jalcaënse Chocce, Dalström, Hágsater & J.Arnaiz, has 6-veined petals, a 3-lobed lip with 5 to 7 ribs, mid-lobe is emarginate forming a couple of semi-orbicular lobes. Epidendrum vegae Chocce & Hágsater which is a short, lithophyte, upright leaves, with large red to bright orange flowers with a short .3" [7.5 mm], thin column, 5-veined sepals and petals, the lip 3-lobed with 3 low parallel keels, and a very small, semi-orbicular, entire, mid-lobe. Epidendrum camilo-diazii Hágsater & Chocce has tall stems to 36" [90 cm], red to bright orange flowers, bilobed, emarginate lip with a single wide, low, fleshy keel, and straight, obovate, emarginated petals, sepals and petals 5-veined. Epidendrum chachapoyarum Chocce, Hágsater, M.E.Acuña & Vega-Vera has short stems to 7.2" [18 cm], yellow flowers, sepals 3-veined, petals 1-veined, the sub-3-lobed lip is bicallose, the calli elongate, and a thickened rib in between, disappearing before the mid-lobe." Hagsater etal 2018
References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; *Icones Orchidacearum 16 Plate 1689 Hagsater & Sanchez 2018 LCDP/photo fide;