Epidendrum wercklei Schltr. 1906 GROUP Neowilliamsia

Photo by © J-Luc Rubrecht and The Stanhopea Passion Blog Website


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


Common Name or Meaning Werckle's Epidendrum [German Orchid Collector early 1900's]

Flower Size .4" [1 cm]

Found in Costa Rica in montane forests at elevations around 1500 to 1830 meters as a medium sized, cool growing epiphyte with a simple, cane-like, branching, from the lower internodes of the previous, terete towards the base, laterally compressed above, thin, erect, straight stem enveloped basally by nonfoliaceous, tubular sheaths and carrying up to 9, throughout the apical half, lowermost deciduous, alternate, articulate, suberect, ancipitose, elliptic-lanceolate, acute, minutely apiculate, coriaceous leaves that blooms in the later summer and early winter on a terminal, occuring only once, erect, peduncle short to 1.5" to 4.4" [3.7 to 11 cm] long, laterally compressed, ancipitous, straight, rachis, 2.8 to 6" [7 to 15 cm] long, paniculate, ancipitous, fractiflex, simultaneously many flowered inflorescence with 1 to 2, ancipitous, acute, tubular below and conduplicate above bracts and small, 1/3 as long as the ovary, deltoid, acute, ancipitose floral bracts and carrying coconut scented flowers.

"Epidendrum wercklei belongs to the GROUP Neowilliamsia, characterized by the ancipitose stems and rachis, the rachis with conduplicate, acute bracts, distichous, usually non-resupinate flowers, the lip often digitate and the 2 or 4 pollinia with 2 hard, laminar, caudicles. The species is recognized for its large many-flowered panicle of white to greenish cream-colored flowers with purple-brown spots and the lateral lobes of the lip deeply divided into 8 to 9 finger-like lobes, a narrow nectary on 2 pollinia. Epidendrum philowercklei Hágsater & E. Santiago from the border of Panama and Costa Rica is vegetatively very similar but the flowers are yellowish green to ochre-yellow with transverse reddish brown bars and the column forming a vertically wide structure with the claw of the lip aná a wide, rounded nectary. Epidendrum alfaroi Ames & C.schweinf. has shorter plants up to 12" [30 cm] tall with a generally racemose inflorescence of up to 13, yellowish orange to greenish white flowers spotted with brown, and 4 pollinia." Hagsater etal 2007

Synonyms Epidanthus wercklei (Schltr.) Garay 1977; Neowilliamsia wercklei (Schltr.) Dressler 1981

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Repert. Sp. Nov. Regni. Veg. Beih. 19: 45. Costa Rica Schlechter 1923; Repert. Sp. Nov. Regni. Veg. Beih. 19: 129. Costa Rica Schlechter 1923; The Genus Epidendrum Ames 1936; Ceiba Vol 5 No 1 L O Williams 1956; Orquídea (Mexico City), n.s., 8(1): 29-30. Dressler 1981 as Neowilliamsia werclei photo fide; Orquídea (Mexico City), n.s., 13(1-2): 217. Hagsater 1993 drawing fide; Field Guide to the Orchids of Costa Rica and Panama Dressler 1993 photo fide; Rudolf Schlechter Die Orchideen Band 1C lieferung 42 - 43 pg 2626 - 2762 Brieger 2001 as Neowilliamsia tenuisulcata; Icones Orchidacearum 4 Plate 486 Hagsater 2001 see recognition section; Manual de las Plantas de Costa Rica Vol 3 Hammel, Grayum, Herrera and Zamora 2003; AOS Bulletin Vol 75 No 1 2006 photo fide; Icones Orchidacearum Vol 8 Plate 870 Hagsater & Sanchez 2006 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum Vol 9 Plate 904 Hagsater & Sanchez 2007 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 9 Plate 925 Hagsater 2007 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 9 plate 996 Hagsater & Sanchez 2007 drawing fide;