Epidendrum refractum Lindl. 1843 GROUP Odontospathum

LCDP Photo by C. J. Jerez R. & A. Cisneros and Icones Orchidacearum 18(2) Plate 1892 Hagsater & J Duarte 2021


Common Name The Bent Back Epidendrum [in reference to the peduncle of the inflorescence which due to the large bracts that appear to be zigzag, though the peduncle itself is sinuous]

Flower Size 1.6" [4 cm]

Found in northwestern and northern Venezuela in elfin forests at elevations of 1600 to 3120 meters as a medium sized, cool to cold growing sympodial, caespitose epiphyte with simple, thickened into erect, cylindrical pseudobulbs the base with 5 non-foliar, scarious, imbricating bracts and carrying 1 to 4, suberect with respect to the stem, alternate, articulate, coriaceous, somewhat conduplicate at the embracing base, tubular, ancipitose, minutely striated, slightly rugose, leaf base sheath, widely ovate-oblong, apex rounded and short-bilobed, surface rugose, margin entire, slightly revolute leaves that blooms in the later fall and winter on a terminal, without a spathe, racemose, the peduncle erect but refracted, much surpassing the apical leaf, ppeduncle 4.8 to 12.4" [12 to 31 cm] long, wide, laterally compressed, slightly ancipitose, nearly totally hidden by up to 10 spaced, conduplicate, partly imbricated, with a prominent dorsal keel, basal half tubular semi-transparent, the apical half open, apex incurved, obtuse, margin entire, green, the apical bract wine-colored bracts on the peduncle, rachis 2.6 to 4.4" [6.5 to 11 cm] long, arching, 25-42 cm long, laxly, simultaneously 4 to 12flowered with prominent, gradually much shorter towards the apex of the rachis, much shorter than the ovary, triangular, acuminate, embracing floral bracts and carrying resupinate, fleshy flowers withoout fragrance data.

"Epidendrum refractum belongs to the GROUP Odontospathum , which is recognized by the sympodial, caespitose habit, laterally compressed stems, successive flowers and a generally sub-erect, paniculate inflorescence, the peduncle with up to 10 prominent, conduplicate, ancipitose, bracts covering the lower part of the peduncle. The species is recognized by the short, thickened stems, with 1 to 4 ovate-oblong, coriaceous leaves aggregate towards the apex, the long peduncle of the inflorescence enveloped by bracts, prominently keeled dorsally, and the simultaneous bright wine-red flowers on a short rachis. It is somewhat reminiscent of Epidendrum odontospathum Rchb.f. which has a wide, laterally compressed stem, wide, apically bilobed leaves, an inflorescence with several large, conduplicate bracts spaced on an ancipitose peduncle, but has branches produced from each bract and flowers green, orange-yellow to brown. NOTE: Bennett & Christenson (1995) misidentified as Epidendrum odontospathum the recently described Epidendrum pseudospathoides Hágsater & E.Santiago (2020). This was followed by Hágsater & Dodson in determining many herbarium specimens as Epidendrum Odontospathum in error. Santiago and Hágsater (2013) illustrated the true E. odontospathum as E. refractoides C.Schweinf. (1970), in error, which has been corrected recently as Epidendrum odontospathum by Hágsater & Santiago (2018)." Hagsater etal 2021


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Icones Orchidacearum 18(2) Plate 1892 Hagsater & Jimenez 2021 LCDP Photo/photo fide;