Epidendrum paucifolium Schltr. 1907 GROUP Bracteosum

Photo by © Eric Hagsater


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

Common Name The Few Leafed Epidendrum

Flower Size 1.2" [3 cm]

Found in Costa Rica and Panama in montane forests at elevations of 2000 to 3485 meters as a small sized, cold growing epiphyte or lithophyte with simple, cane-like, laterally compressed, ancipitose, thin basally, slightly thicker apically stems carrying 1 to 2, at the apex of the stem, articulate, alternate ascending, oblong-lanceolate to narrowly elliptic, acute, coriaceous, margin entire leaves that blooms in the fall through spring on a terminal, flowering only once, racemose, thin, ancipitose, suberect to slightly arching, lax, few flowered inflorescence enveloped almost completely by 2 tubular, acute, scarious, bracts and longer than the ovary, tubular at the base, acute, amplexicaul floral bracts and carrying 3 to 4, simultaneous, resupinate flowers.

The miniature sized plants with 1 to 2 apical leaves on the stems, the intense purple flowers with free segments, .4 to .6" [1 to 1.5 cm] long, obtuse, rounded petals distinguish this species from others.

"Epidendrum paucifolium GROUP Bracteosum which is characterized by the sympodial, caespitose habit with laterally compressed, ancipitose, few-leaved stems covered by tubular, scarious sheaths, a racemose to paniculate, arching, 3 to 11 flowered inflorescence with prominent, acute floral bracts, the floral segments partly spreading, the lip entire, generally auriculate at the base, the disc tricarinate and 4-cuniculate on each side of the calli, and with fleshy-laminar thickenings beneath the calli; SUBGROUP Pallens which has 1 to 2 leaved stems, the leaves aggregate at the apex of the stem, inflorescence racemose, generally longer than the apical leaf, with the peduncle covered by 1 to 4 tubular, scarious, fiorous bracts, the floral bracts tubular, nearly parallel to the rachis. The species is recognized by the bright, fuchsia-magenta colored flowers, floral segments apically rounded, sepals .56 to .64" [14 to 16 mm] long, the margin revolute, lip nearly as long as it is wide .32 to .4" x .32 to .36" [8 to 10 x 8 to 9 mm], and the apex of the column with a pair of prominent teeth. Epidendrum pallens Rchb.f. has larger, olive-brown to lilac-pink flowers with sepals .72 to .96" [18 to 24 mm] long, the floral segments acute, lip triangular-ovate, twice as long as it is wide, .56 to .68" x .32 to .4" [14 to 17 x 8 to 10 mm]. Epidendrum pitalense Salazar, Hágsater & Linares has purple-brown flowers, the column greenish, sepals .56 to .68" [14 to 17 mm] long, subacute, the margin spreading, lip pandurate-ovate, somewhat longer than wide. Epidendrum bracteosum Ames & C. Schweinf. has 3 to 4 leaves on a short, thickened stem, the floral bracts cymbiform, conduplicale, the flowers green, copper-tinged, and the auriculate lip panduriform-cordate." Hagsater etal 2007


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Field Guide to the Orchids of Costa Rica and Panama Dressler 1993; Icones Orchidacearum 11 Plate 1155 Hagsater 2008 drawing ok; Manual de las Plantas de Costa Rica Vol 3 Hammel, Grayum, Herrera and Zamora 2003; Icones Orchidacearum 11 Plate 1153 Hagsater 2008 see recognition section;Icones Orchidacearum 11 Plate 1155 Hagsater & Sanchez 2008 drawing fide; Icones Orchidacearum 11 Plate 1161 Hagsater 2008 see recognition section;