Epidendrum subliberum C.Schweinf. 1952 GROUP Albomarginatum

Plant and Flowers

Photos by © Rebecca Repasky and Atrium Biodiversity WebSite


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


Common Name The Less Than Free Epidendrum

Flower Size 1/4" [7 mm]

Found in Peru in elfin and low rainforests at elevations of 2950 to 3600 meters as a small sized, cold growing epiphyte with a verticle, scandent growth habit, thin, basal half cane-like, apically thickened stem producing new stems from an internode below the apical thickened half and covered by 2 to 8, tubular, non-foliaceous sheaths and carrying 2 to 3, aggregate towards the apex, coriaceous, linear-lanceolate, obtuse, minutely apiculate, articulate below into the base leaves that blooms in the mid winter through fall on a terminal, .2 to .24" [5 to 6 mm] long; rachis arching, racemose, terete, thin, densely many flowered inflorescence with 3 small, linear-lanceolate, amplexicaul, acuminate bracts and similar, more than 1/2 as long as the ovary floral bracts and carrying up to 120, simultaneously opening, resupinate flowers.

Dressler and Garay put this species as a synonym of Scaphyglottis sublibera but Hagsater as well as myself and now Kew feel this species fits into the Albomarginata group quite well and is definitely an Epidendrum.

"Epidendrum subliberum belongs to the GROUP Albomarginatum which is characterized by the monopodial, vertical, scandent, zigzag habit, stems cane-like below, somewhat thickened along the apical middle-half or third to form a fusiform pseudobulb, the new stem originating just below the thickened part of the previous stem, apically bifoliate; leaves linear-lanceolate to linear-oblong. The species is recognized by the elongate, racemose inflorescence, simultaneous, small flowers with sepals .128 to .152" [3.2 to 3.8 mm] long, petals lanceolate, narrow, with the margin dentate, .128 to .14 x .044 to .052" [3.2 to 3.5 x 1.1 to 1.3 mm], single veined, and the lip with the base sub-cordate, and the mid-lobe rounded. It is very similar to Epidendrum subliberhombicum Hágsater & E.Santiago has large leaves 5.6 to 8.8" x .24 to .48" [14 to 22 x 0.6 to 1.2 cm], larger flowers, sepals .14 to .208" [3.5 to 5.2 mm long, petals ovate-rhombic, the margin entire, .14 to .188" x .096 to .1" [3.5 4.7 x 2.4 to 2.5 mm], 3-veined, the lip with the base truncate and the midlobe widely triangular; the range of distribution overlaps. Epidendrum albomarginatum Rchb.f. has a sometimes paniculate inflorescence, sepals .24 to .32" [6 to 8 mm] long, petals oblanceolate, rachis fractiflex and the lip united throughout the length of the column. Epidendrum francisci Chocce, Hágsater & Acuña has a paniculate inflorescence, the rachis slightly fractiflex, successive flowers, sepals .32" [8 mm] long, and the lip entire." Hagsater etal 2010

Synonyms Scaphyglottis sublibera (C.Schweinf.) Dressler 1964

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Orchids of Peru Vol 2 Schweinfurth 1959 drawing fide; Die Orchideen 3 Auflage Bd 1 Sonderabdruck aus Schlechter Lieferung 9 513 - 576 Brieger, Maatsch and Senghas 1977 as Microepidenrum subliberum; Machu Picchu Orchids Christenson 2003; Icones Orchidacearum 12 Plate 1201 Hagsater 2009 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 12 Plate 1244 Hagsater 2009 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 13 Plate 1391 Hasater & Salazar 2010 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 13 Plate 1392 Hasater & Salazar 2010 drawing fide; Icones Orchidacearum 16[1] Plate 1624 Hagsater / Santiago 2018 See recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 17(1) Plate 1702 Hagsater & Jimenez 2019 See recognition section