Epidendrum polythallum Est.Domínguez, J.S.Moreno, Hágsater & E.Santiago 2016 GROUP Polythallum

TYPE Drawing

TYPE Photo./ TYPE Drawing by © E. Domínguez V and The AMO Herbaria Website

Common Name The Many Branched Epidendrum

Flower Size 1.2” [3 cm]

Found in Antioquia department of Colombia along the summit of the Cordillera Occidental in wet montane forests on cliffs and roadside slopes at elevations around 2500 meters as a giant sized, cold growing, monopodial epiphyte with cane-like, much branched, terete stems carrying on the primary and secondary stems numerous, alternate, distichous, ascendant, arising from nearly every internode, 2 to 6 on tertiary and flowering stems, oblong, unequally bilobed, chartaceous, upper surface rugose, sulcate at the midvein, dark green, 8 veins marked pale green, 4 on each side of the midvein, underside smooth, pale green leaves that blooms in the winter on a terminal, without a spathe, racemose, pendent, nodding, rachis very short, thin, somewhat laterally compressed, 1.,6 to 2.2" [4 to 5.5 cm] long overall, laxly simultaneously 3 to 4 flowered inflorescence with much shorter than the ovary, triangular, acute, clasping floral bracts and carrying resupinate, nonfragrant, pale yellow flowers with a wine red lip and the calli and the apices of the lip lobes are pale yellow.

"Epidendrum polythallum is not clearly related to any known group, so we place it in its own GROUP Polythallum, recognized by the much branched stems, with a tall primary stem, numerous secondary and tertiary stems and the numerous shorter flowers stems, the nodding inflorescence bears only 3 to 4 pale yellow flowers, lip wine-red except for the calli and apices of the lobes which are pale yellow, sepals connate at base, narrowly oblanceolate, petals linear, obliquely acute at the apex, lip deeply 3-lobed, with 5 parallel ribs on the disc and a pair of radiating shorter ribs on the lateral lobes which are obliquely triangular. The flowers are reminiscent of Epidendrum amplexirisaraldense Hágsater & E.Santiago, but the plant habit of that species is not branched, the new stem originating from a sub-apical internode of the previous stem, flowers are greenish. The plant habit of the new species is reminiscent of Epidendrum paraguastigma Hágsater & García-Cruz which also has a tall primary stem, numerous, progressively smaller secondary stems and numerous smaller flowers stems, but that species has 7 to 9, simultaneous, concolor, white flowers, sepals .26 to .34" [6.5 to 7.6 mm] long, and an entire, cordiform lip with a “Y” shaped callus." Hagsater etal


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; * Icones Orchidacearum 15[2] Plate 1593 Est.Domínguez, J.S.Moreno, Hágsater et E.Santiago 2016 drawing fide; Orquideas, Tesoro de Colombia Vol 2 Ortiz & Uribe 2017 E aff polythallum fide; Orquideas, Tesoro de Colombia Vol 2 Ortiz & Uribe 2017 photo fide; Icones Orchidacearum 16[1] Plate 1637 Hagsater 2018 See recognition section