Epidendrum paranthicum Rchb.f. 1852 GROUP Epidanthus
Photos by Karl Senghas and Drawing by © Fritz Hamer and The Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Jany Renz Herbaria Website
Plant in situ Nicaragua
Photo by © and The Nicaraguan Orchidaceae Website
Drawing by © Jimenez, Hágsater & E.Santiago and The AMO Herbario Website
Common Name The Closely Alternating Epidendrum [probably refers to the flowers]
Flower Size .2" [5mm]
Found in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama at elevations of 900 to 1560 meters as a mini-miniature sized, warm to cool growing epiphyte or lithophyte with simple, produced from the basal nodes of the previous stem, terete, very thin, erect stems carrying 5 to 8, distributed along the stem, alternate, more or less fleshy, erect-spreading, acicular to linear, acute, entire marginally, articulate below into the base leaves that blooms in the later spring and early summer on a terminal, racemose, occuring only once, distichous, erect, laterally compressed, secund, rachis somewhat zigzag, lax, successively 4 to 12 flowered inflorescence with a bract at the middle, similar to the longer than the ovary, amplexicaul, widely triangular, basally tubular, acute apically floral bract and carrying fleshy flowers.
Epidendrum sancti-ramoni Kraenzl. 1929 is often included as a synonym of this species but for now I have left them separate even though they do appear to be quite similar.
"Epidendrum paranthicum belongs to the GROUP Epidanthus , which is characterized by short small, somewhat scandent plants with very thin stems, very narrow, more or less fleshy leaves, with a small, narrowly triangular, acute ligule opposite the blade, an apical, distichous, usually secund inflorescence, and 2 or 4 pollinia. The species is recognized by the delicate plants, 3.6 to 5.2" [8.5 to 13 cm] tall, with acicular, linear leaves, small sepals .1 to .132" [2.5 to 3.3 mm] long, variable color flowers, the dorsal sepal and petals somewhat reflexed, 3-lobed lip with the callus semi-circular and minutely apiculate. Epidendrum tritropianthum Hágsater & E.Santiago is vegetatively very similar, but the flowers are white, with the margin of the lateral lobes of the lip reddish purple, the petals spreading and the lip ecallose with 3 low keels. Epidendrum isolatum Barringer has similar sized plants but the stems very short and robust 1.2 to 2" x .1 to .12" [3 to 5 x .25 to .3 cm), oblong-elliptic, very fleshy leaves, ochre-colored flowers and lanceolate, reflexed petals. *NOTE: Numerous color forms have been detected, in particular in Costa Rica, but because no consistent difference has been found in the vegetative or floral structures, we have not given them any taxonomic status. The general coloration is yellow or yellow green, but in Monteverde and Palma de San Ramón (Alajuela) the flowers are white with a yellow lip; on the Fila de Savegre the flowers are brownish red; and the Endres specimens from Cartago, Pizirres(?) are described as white dotted with purple." Hagsater etal 2010
Synonyms Epidanthus paranthicus (Rchb.f.) L.O.Williams 1940
References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ;. Nov. Regni. Veg. Beih. 19: 41. Costa Rica Schlechter 1923; Repert. Sp. Nov. Regni. Veg. Beih. 19: 122. Costa Rica Schlechter 1923; The Genus Epidendrum Ames 1936; The Orchids of Panama L.O. Williams & P Allen 1946 as Epidanthus parnathus; Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965; Die Orchideen 3 Auflage Bd 1 Sonderabdruck aus Schlechter Lieferung 9 513 - 576 Brieger, Maatsch and Senghas 1977 as Epidanthus paranthicum; Icones Plantarum Tropicarum Plate 700 Hamer 1982 as Epidanthus paranthicus drawing fide; ORQUIDEA (Méx.) 9(1) 1983 as Epidanthus paranthicum drawing/photo fide; ORQUIDEA (Méx.) 9(2): 1984 photo fide; Selbyana Vol 10 Orchids of Central America Hamer 1988 as Epidanthus paranthicus drawing fide; The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Orchids Pridgeon 1992 photo fide; Manual of Cultivated Orchid Species Bechtel, Cribb, & Launert 1992 as Epidanthus paranthicus drawing fide; Manual Of Orchids Stewart 1995; Icones Orchidacearum 9 Plate 946 Hagsater 2007 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 9 Plate 959 Hagsater 2007 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 9 Plate 998 Hagsater 2007 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum Part 13 Plate 1367 Hagsater 2010 drawing ok; Orquideas, Tesoro de Colombia Vol 2 Ortiz & Uribe 2017 drawing fide;