Epidendrum polygonatum Lindl. 1858 GROUP Physinga

Flower Closeup

Photos by © Luis A Borges Ochoa


Drawing by © R. Jiménez M and The AMO Herbario Website

Common Name or Meaning

Flower Size .4" [1 cm]

Found in Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic at elevations around 600 to 2000 meters as a small to just medium sized, warm to cool growing epiphyte with approximate, simple, ancipitous, prominently fractiflex, disitchously leafy from the base up stems and carrying 5 to 12, rather thin, dark, narrowly lanceolate, triangular, acuminate, margin entire, coriaceous, green tinged purple, undulate or spirally twisted leaves that blooms in the spring on a terminal, withput a spathe, peduncle 1.88 to 2.8" [4.7 to 7.0 cm] long, arching, strongly zigzag, the apex of the sheaths free as the peduncle is bent in the opposite direction, provided with 5 to 15 bracts diminishing in size towards the apex, tubular, slightly laterally compressed, acuminate, becoming fibrous with age, brown; rachis .68 to 1.48" [1.7 to 3.8 cm] long, zigzag, forming obtuse angles; slender, geniculate, 2.4 to 8.44" [6.0 to 21.1 cm] long overall, apical, elongate, slightly arching, racemose at first flowering, then pluri-racemose; occasionally producing a new plant from a middle internode of an old inflorescence arising at right angles to the following internode, successively single, 4 to 11 flowered inflorescence with acuminate bracts and ovate, acute floral bracts and carrying resupinate flowers with the sepals and petals pink, translucent, lip green-pink, callus and column green and the fragrance not registered.

"Epidendrum polygonatum Lindl. from the Antilles is part of the GROUP Physinga characterized by the generally small, caespitose plants with an apical, racemose inflorescence that produces new racemse in time and carries successively opening flowers with only one open at a time on an elongate peduncle with acuminate bracts, an entire lip and an ovary with a prominent vesicule. The species has smaller f1owers with sepals 14 to .2" [3.5 to 5 mm] long and the widely obovate lip has evident, high, f1eshy keels. Epidendrum physodes is very similar but the lanceolate, short-acuminate, gray-green, fleshy leaves, the lip transversely elliptic, somewhat concave, the calli prominent, rounded, the clinandrium-hood short, f1eshy, not surpassing the body of the column separate the species. Epidendrum macroclinium Hágsater has shorter .6 to 1.8" [1.5 to 4.5 cm] long, ovate-lanceolate, obtuse to acute, gray-green sometimes with the foliar veins thickened and very evident on the basal half of the upper side of the leaves, and obreniform lip, the calli short, placed far from the apex of the column, and a very prominent, fimbriate-dentate clinandrium-hood. Epidendrum prostratum (Lindl.) Cogn. is vegetatively very similar to the latter, but the sepals and petals are partly spreading, the base of the lip deeply cordate, with 3 prominent keels on the disc, and the clinandrium-hood deeply emarginate, the margin entire. Epidendrum massif-hottense Hágsater, endemic to the south-western tip of Haiti, has longer leaves, 1.32 to 2" x .16 to .24" [3.3 to 5.0 x 0.4 to 0.6 cm], very short bracts on the peduncle of the inflorescence, .04 to .12" [1 to 3 mm] long, much shorter than the internodes, and a lip .176 x .268" [4.4 x 6.7 mm], reniform, base slightly cordate. Epidendrum ceticaudatum Rinc.-González, Villanueva & E.Santiago has arching stems 6 to 7.2" [15 to 18 cm] long, 4 to 8 leaves distributed along the apical half of stem, flowers larger, sepals .52 to .548 [13 to 13.7 mm] long, and a lip .248 x .384" [6.2 x 9.6 mm], bell-shaped when spread." Adapted from E physodes Icones plate 1159 Hagsater etal 2009/2020

Synonyms Amphiglottis polygonata (Lindl.) Acuna 1939; Epidendrum polygonatum var. latifolium Cogn. 1910; Physinga polygonata (Lindl.) H.Dietr. 1980

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Symbolae Antillanae Vol VI Orchidaceae Urban 1909; Symbolae Antillanae Vol VI Orchidaceae Urban 1909 as Epidendrum polygonatum var latifolium; Catalogo Descriptivo de las Orquideas Cubanas Acuna 1938 as Amphiglottis polygonata; Rudolf Schlechter Die Orchideen Band 1C lieferung 42 - 43 pg 2626 - 2762 Brieger 2001 as Physina polygonata; Orchids of Cuba Llamacho & Larimendi 2006; Orchidaceae Antillanae Nir 2000; Rudolf Schlechter Die Orchideen Lieferung 42/3 2001 as Physinga polgonatum; Icones Orchidacearum Vol 11 Plate 1159 Hagsater & Sanchez 2008 see recognition section; Orchid Flora of the Greater Antilles Ackerman 2014; Icones Orchidacearum 17(1) Plate 1738 Hagsater & Jimenez 2019 see recognition setion; Icones Orchidacearum 17(2) Plate 1789 Hagsater & Jimenez 2020 Drawing/Photo fide; Icones Orchidacearum 18(1) plate 1833 Hagsater, Pfahl & Cisneros 2020 see recognition section;