Epidendrum serpens Lindl. 1844 GROUP Kalopternix SUBGROUP Serpens Photo by Ecuagenera and their Ecuador Orcid Website


Common Name The Serpent Epidendrum

Flower Size 5/8" [1.5 cm]

A miniature epiphytic species found from Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela in small trees near the tree line that grows cool to cold at an elevation around 1600 to 3500 meters with small, ovoid pseudobulbs enveloped almost completely by the clasping leaf base carrying a single, apical, elliptical, acute leaf and blooms in the summer through early winter on several, terminal, short, single flowered inflorescence held in a cluster with the flowers held close to the apex of the newly arising pseudobulb.

This is the type for the Serpens group made up of: E carmelense, smaller overall, long strings of growths, a cordate, reniform lip and sepals to 1 cm long, E oxapampense, with pendant single, glaucous leafed pseudobulbs and resupinate flowers with a wide trullate lip, the margin fleshy-erose, E moronense with pendant single leafed pseudobulbs, a longer and thinner column, a reniform lip with lacerate margins, bicaulose and has a low keel in the center of the lip, E pachacuteqianum with very clustered pseudobulbs carrying one to a few, coriaceous, fleshy leaves with an apical, sessile inflorescence without any spathes and carrying compact, small, non-resupinate, successive, star shaped flowers and E platyphylloserpens with a pendant growth habit, short pseudobulbs carrying a single, wide, elliptic, coriaceous leaf and a terminal erect, sessile, racemose inflorescence and reddish brown successsively opening, non-resupinate flowers. E garayii differs in having the sheaths of the pseudobulbs carrying leaves identical to the apical leaf and E illinazae which has similar leaves but the habit is more elongate and the flowers are solitary, red and with a deeply cordate lip with a finely erose margin.

Synonyms Hormidium serpens Benth. & Hook. f. 1889

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Die Orchideen der Sudamerikanischen Kordillerenstaaten III Ecuador Schlechter 1921 as E ornithidii; Orchids of Peru Vol 2 Fieldiana Schweinfurth 1959; AOS Bulletin Vol 38 No 6 1969; Flora de Venezuela Foldats Volumen XV Part 3 1970 drawing good; Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated Vol 6 Dunsterville & Garay 1976 drawing good; Orchids of Venezuela ; An Illustrated Field Guide Vol 1 Dunsterville & Garay 1979 drawing good; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum Plate 487 Dodson 1989 drawing fide; Orchids of Venezuela [An illustrated field guide] Vol. 1 Ramiro and Carnevali 2000 drawing good; Icones Orchidacearum 4 Plate 473 Hagsater 2001 see recognition section; Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 2 Dodson 2001 drawing ok; Icones Orchidacearum 7 Plate 705 Hagsater 2004 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 8 Plate 864 Hagsater 2006 see recognition section