Epidendrum serpens Lindl. GROUP Kalopternix SUBGROUP Serpens

Photo by Ecuagenera and their Ecuador Orcid Website


Common Name The Serpent Epidendrum

Flower Size 5/8" [1.5 cm]

Found in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela on small trees near the tree line at an elevation around 1600 to 3500 meters in wet montane forests as a mini-miniature sized, cool to cold growing epiphyte 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 SUBGROUP Serpens 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; Miniature Orchids Northen 1980; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum Plate 487 Dodson 1989 drawing fide; Icones Orchidacearum 3 Plate 362 Hagsater & Sanchez 1999 see recognition section; 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; Icones Orchidacearum 14 Plate 1466 Hagsater & Sanchez 2013 see recognition section; Orquideas, Tesoro de Colombia Vol 2 Ortiz & Uribe 2017 drawing fide; Orchid Digest Vol 81 #2 2017 photo fide; Icones Orchidacearum 17(1) Plate 1713 Hagsater & Jimenez 2019 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 17(1) Plate 1733 Hagsater & Jimenez 2019 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 17(2) Plate 1761 Hagsater & Jimenez 2020 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 17(2) Plate 1800 Hagsater & Jimenez 2019 see recognition section;