Epidendrum patens Sw. 1806 GROUP Mutelianum

Photo by © Joel Papy and his Flickr Photo Website

Plant and Flowers

Photo by © Schlechter


Common Name The Wide Open Epidendrum

Flower Size 1.2" [3 cm]

Found in the Leeward and the Windward Islands in wet montane forests at elevations around 1100 meters as a medium sized, cool growing epiphyte or lithophyte with erect to ascending, rather slender, terete, ancipitous stems carrying a few distichous, towards the apex, rigid, coriaceous, ovate to elliptic to ovate-elliptic, rarely oblong-elliptic, acute to obtuse leaves that blooms in the late winter and spring on a terminal, paniculate, distinctly long-pedunculate, with a few remote bracts, very rarely abbreviated racemose, ancipitous, many flowered inflorescence with acuminate floral bracts and carrying fragrant flowers.


"Epidendrum patens Sw. belongs to the GROUP Mutelianum characterized by the sympodial habit, simple stems, apical, paniculate inflorescence subtended by several imbricating bracts, 3-lobed lip and the petals as wide or wider than the sepals. The species can be recognized by the longer peduncle to 4" [10 cm] long, subrhombic, white flowers with purplé dots at the base of the lip and the apex of the column, and the lip bilobed at the apex, the lobes divergent. It is somewhat similar to Epidendrum boricuomutelianum which has a caespitose habit, 3 to 5, narrowly elliptic leaves distributed towards the apex of the laterally compressed stems, erect racemose to paniculate inflorescence with the peduncle shorter than the apical leaf and the orange-yellow, clesitogamous flowers, the lip 3-lobed with the midlobe triangular, rounded. It is somewhat similar to Epidendrum mutelianum which has cream colored flowers, the apex of the column somewhat tinged purple and is found on the lesser Antillies. They are both somewhat similar to Epidendrum pallidiflorum Hooker, but that species has greenish cream flowers with purple lines and a longer peduncle of the inflorescence (more than 4" [10 cm} long)." Adapted from E Epidendrum boricuomutelianum Plate 711 Hagsater etal 2004

Synonyms Exophya fuscata Raf. 1837

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Symbolae Antillanae Vol VI Orchidaceae Urban 1909; Flora of Jamaica Fawcett & Rendle 1910; Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915 photo ok; Flore Descriptive des Antilles Francaises H. Stehle 1939; Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965; Flora de Venezuela Vol 15 tercera parte Foldats 1970; Flora of the Lesser Antilles Garay & Sweet 1974 drawing fide; Orchidaceae Brasiliense Band 1 Pabst & Dungs 1975 drawing fide; Manual Of Orchids Stewart 1995; Orchidaceae Antillanae Nir 2000; Icones Orchidacearum 7 Plate 711 Hagsater and Sanchez 2004 see recognition section; Orquideas, Tesoro de Colombia Vol 2 Ortiz & Uribe 2017;