Epidendrum selaginella Schltr. 1906 GROUP Epidanthus

Photo by © Daniel Jimenez


Drawing by © Fritz Hamer and The Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Jany Renz Herbaria Website


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

Part Shade Warm Cold WinterTHROUGHSpring

Common Name or Meaning The Moss-fern-Like Epidendrum [Like a Selaginellus - Moss-fern]

Flower Size .2" [5 mm]

Found in Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama at elevations of 650 to 2400 meters as a mini-miniature to small sized, warm to cold growing epiphyte with a small branching rhizome giving rise to erect stems enveloped by leafless and higher up leafbearing sheaths and carrying several, alternate, distichous, oblong-ovate, articulate to the sheaths, apically bilobed, basally clasping leaves that blooms in the winter on a terminal, 1.6" [4 cm] long, 2 to 8 flowered, racemose inflorescence with shorter to longer than the ovary, conduplicate, ovate, acute, amplexicaul, densely papillose floral bracts and carrying simultaneously opening, non-resupinate, distichous, pale green, yellow to greenish yellow flowers.

The sub-caespitose habit with the stems enveloped by small, subequal, ovate leaves that have a small ligule opposite the lamina, an elongate peduncle with successive flowers distinguish this species.

" Epidendrum selaginella Schltr. belongs to the GROUP Epidanthus which is characterized by short small, usually scandent plants with very thin stems, very narrow, more or less fleshy leaves, with a small, narrowly triangular, acute ligule opposite the blade, an apical, distichous, usually secund inflorescence, and 2 or 4 pollinia. The species is recognized by the 4 pollinia, stems which are laterally compressed above, ovate to oblong-ovate leaves, the flowers aggregate at the end of a long inflorescence, and the sepals dorsally papillose, as well as the ovary and the floral bracts, the triangular-cordate lip longer than wide united to the basal half of the column. Epidendrum stenoselaginella Hágsater & E.Santiago also with 4 pollinia, has terete stems covered with narrow, linear-lanceolate leaves, flowers laxly distributed on the inflorescence, ovate-triangular sepals, and the triangular-cordate lip nearly as wide as it is long, united to the column throughout its length, and the ovary and sepals glabrous. Epidendrum astroselaginella Hágsater & E.Santiago also has 4 pollinia, and is recognized by the spreading star-shaped, floral segmenls, the larger flowers with sepals .14 to .168" [3.5- 4.2 mm] long, very thin petals, and prominent teeth at the apex of the column, which are directed somewhat upwards, in front of the anther-bed. Most other species in this group have 2 pollinia." Hagsater etal 2007

Synonyms Microepidendrum selaginella (Schltr.) Brieger 1977

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Repert. Sp. Nov. Regni. Veg. Beih. 19: 44. Costa Rica Schlechter 1923; Repert. Sp. Nov. Regni. Veg. Beih. 19: 128. Costa Rica Schlechter 1923; Repert. Sp. Nov. Regni. Veg. Beih. 19: 218. Costa Rica Schlechter 1923; The Genus Epidendrum Ames 1936; Ceiba Vol 5 No 1 L O Williams 1956; Selbyana Vol 10 Orchids of Central America Hamer 1988 drawing fide; Field Guide to the orchids of Costa Rica and Panama Dressler 1993; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum Plate 737 Hamer/Dodson 1982 drawing ok; Manual de las Plantas de Costa Rica Vol 3 Hammel, Grayum, Herrera and Zamora 2003; Icones Orchidacearum 9 Plate 910 Hagsater 2007 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 9 Plate 943 Hagsater 2007 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 9 Plate 959 Hagsater 2007 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 9 Plate 984 Hagsater 2007 drawing ok; Icones Orchidacearum 9 Plate 991 Hagsater 2007 see recognition section; Lankesteriana 12[3]: 2014 photo not = E selaginella; Lankesteriana 12[3]: 2014 as E astroselaginella photo/drawing fide; Icones Orchidacearum 15 [2] Plate 1588 Hagsater & Sanchez 2016 see recognition section; Lankesteriana 19(1). 31 - 55 2019 photo fide