Epidendrum riofrioae Hágsater, F.Werner & E.Santiago 2018 GROUP Ampelospathum

TYPE Drawing

TYPE Photo by © F Werner/TYPE Drawing photo © by R Jimenez and The AMO Herbario Website

Part shade Cold LATEFall EARLYWinter

Common Name The Rio Frio Epidendrum [Location of the type orchid]

Flower Size .6" [1.5 cm]

Found in Zamora province of Ecuador from northern side Podocarpus National Park at elevations of 2100 to 2250 as a small sized, cold growing epiphyte with thin, cane-like, terete at the base, laterally compressed towards the apex, each new stem produced from a middle internode of the previous stem; old stems having lost their leaves, the new stems covered along the basal half by non-foliar, tubular, scarious sheaths, and carrying 4 to 8, distributed along the apical half of the stem, articulate, coriaceous, sub-spreading, straight, lustrous on the upper side, glaucous on underside; blade linear-lanceolate, apex acuminate, margin entire, slightly revolute leaves, with tubular, ancipitose basal sheath that blooms in the late fall and early winter on a terminal, arising through a tubular, along the basal half, conduplicate towards the apical half, acuminate spathe, peduncle .92" [23 mm] long, thin, laterally compressed, ancipitose; rachis .28" [7 mm] long, terete, thin, straight, 1.2" [3 cm] long, apical, racemose, laxly simultaneously 6-flowered inflorescence with much shorter than the ovary, triangular, acuminate, embracing floral bracts and carrying resupinate, pale green, slightly tinged with red-purple flowers and the lip and the column are white-green; the fragrance if any was not registered.

"Epidendrum riofrioae resembles loosely the GROUP Ampelospathum which is characterized by the scandent habit, the new stem produced from a middle internode of the previous stems, roots produced only at the base of the primary stem, a racemose inflorescence subtended by 1-2 spathes, a 3-lobed lip and 2 small calli. The new species is recognized by the pendent plants with successive stems originating from a middle internode of the previous stem, leaves 1.64 to 4.8" x .06 to .12" [4.1 to 12 x 0.15 to 0.3 cm], sub-spreading, linear-lanceolate, acuminate, inflorescence subtended by a narrow spathe .88 to 1.48" [2.2 to 3.7 cm] long, covering the whole peduncle of the inflorescence, rachis very short, and 6 pale green flower tinged red-purple, lip and column white-green, ovary .4 to .52" [10 to 13 cm] long, slightly inflated along the apical 1/3. We find no closely related species; the habit, though sympodial, only produces roots from the primary stem, and the inflorescence is subtended by a spathe, as in Epidendrum ampelospathum Hágsater & Dodson, but that species as large, vigorous plants and flowers have very wide segments, leaves 4.4 to 7.2" x .52 to .64" [11 to 18 x 1.3 to 1.6 cm], sepals short oblong, .4 to .56" [10 to 14 mm] long, and the lip is deeply 3-lobed, lateral lobes about the same size as the mid-lobe, reniform, the mid-lobe triangular, truncate, apex rounded. The pendent habit and narrow leaves are reminiscent of an oversized Epidendrum rolfeanum F.Lehm. & Kraenzl. but the inflorescence is simple, not paniculate, and flowers are much larger. The flowers are suggestive of E. cuchibambae F.Lehm. & Kraenzl. due to the large retrorse, rounded lateral lobes, but that species has a caespitose, erect habit, and flowers are much larger, sepals 1 to 1.2" [25 to 30 mm] long." Hagsater 2018


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; *Icones Orchidacearum 16[1} Plate 1653 Hagsater & Sanchez 2018 drawing/photo fide;