Govenia utriculata (Sw.) Lindl. 1839
Photos by © Gerardo A. Salazar (A?G) and Víctor I. Octaviano-Landa (H)
drawings by © Jacquin & Hooker
Plant comparrison shot
Photo by © Greenwood and The Herbario AMO Website
Common Name The Small-Hosed Govenia - Dominican Republic: Botellitas, Spanish for little bottles [refers to the cup formed by the basal sheath, a diagnostic feature of this species]
Flower Size 1 1/2" [3.7cm]
Found in the Bahamas, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico in wet broad-leafed tropical forests at elevations of sea level to 1100 meters and Morelos state of Mexico in partially disturbed tropical deciduous forest at elevations around 1350 meters with the corms and roots immersed in leaf mould without penetrating the underlying soil as a medium sized, warm to cool growing deciduous leafed terrestrial with asymetrically globose, dorsiventrally depressed, 3 to 4 noded, pseudobulbous growths that are enveloped by 3 to 4 inflated sheaths the uppermost filled with rainwater, and carrying 2, elliptic, acuminate, deep green, plicate, leaves with an elongate petiolate base enveloped by the uppermost bladeless sheath that blooms in the later summer and fall on an erect, terminal, arising with a new growth, peduncle terete, pale green, provided with 1 to 2 membraneous, tubular, acute, to 15.2 to 16.8" [38 to 42 cm] long, rachis 2 to 6" [5 to 15 cm] long, cylindric, racemose, somewhat loose, successively several, 10 to 25 flowered inflorescence inflorescence with spreading, narrowly lanceolate, attenuate floral bracts.
"Govenia utriculata is distinguished by the inflated bladeless leaf sheaths, the uppermost of which completely encloses the leaf petioles and, in living condition, is circular in cross section and partially filled with rainwater" Salazar etal 2021
CAUTION This species for years has been confused with several other species, the real G utriculata only occurs in the Caribbean and one small area of Morelos state of Mexico.
In the Dominican Republic, the rainwater that accumulates in the inflated sheath is used locally to refresh the eyes in case of infection
Synonyms Cymbidium utriculatum [Sw.] Sw. 1799; Epidendrum utriculatum Poir. 1810; Govenia andrieuxii Rchb.f. 1852; Govenia capitata Lindl. 18351839; Govenia powellii Schltr. 1921; Govenia sodiroi Schltr.1922; Govenia utriculata var. capitata (Lindl.) Correll 1947; *Limodorum utriculatum Sw. 1788;
References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Symbolae Antillanae Vol VI Orchidaceae Urban 1909; Flora of Jamaica Fawcett & Rendle 1910 drawing ok; Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915; Atlas des Orchidees Cultivees Constantin 1920 drawing hmm; Die Orchideen der Sudamerikanischen Kordillerenstaaten I Venezuela Schlechter 1919 as G ernstii; Die Orchideen der Sudamerikanischen Kordillerenstaaten III Ecuador Schlechter 1921 as G sodiroi; Repert. Sp. Nov. Regni. Veg. Beih. 17: 51. Panama Schlechter 1922 as G powellii; Flora Brasilica Vol XII VI Hoehne 1942 as G gardneri drawing good; Iconografia de Orchidaceae Do Brasil Hoehne 1949 as G gardneri drawing good; Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated Vol 1 Dunsterville & Garay 1959 drawing ok; Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated Vol 1 Dunsterville & Garay 1959 as G superba drawing ok; Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965 drawing ok; Flora de Venezuela Foldats Volumen XV Part 4 Foldats 1970 drawing good; The Native Orchids Of Florida Luer 1972 Drawing/photo fide; Las Orquedias De El Salvador Vol 1 Hamer 1974 as G capitata drawing ok; Las Orquedias De El Salvador Vol 1 Hamer 1974 drawing good/photo ok; Orchidaceae Brasilenses Pabst & Dungs 1975 drawing fide; Orchids of Venezuela [An illustrated field guide] Vol. 1 Dunsterville and Garay 1979 drawing drawing ok; Orchids of Venezuela An Illustrated Field Guide Vol 1 Dunsterville & Garay 1979 as G superba drawing ok; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum Plate 110 Dodson 1980 drawing ok; ORQUIDEA (Méx . ) 8(1) Greenwood 1981 photo fide; Las Orquedias de El Salvador Vol 3 Hamer 1981 drawing ok; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum Plate 754 Dodson 1982 as Govenia capitata drawing ok; AOS Bulletin Vol 54 No 4 1985 photo fide; Flora Novo-Galaciana Vol 16 McVaugh 1985; Selbyana Vol 10 Orchids of Central America Hamer 1988 as G capitata drawing fide; Selbyana Vol 10 Orchids of Central America Hamer 1988 drawing ok; Native Colombian Orchids Vol 2 COS 1991 photos not; Rudolf Schlechter Die Orchideen Band 1B lieferung 25 1520 - 1584 Brieger 1991 photo fide; Rudolf Schlechter Die Orchideen Band 1B lieferung 25 1520 - 1584 Brieger 1991 as G capitata; ORQUIDEA (MEX.) FEBRERO 12(2). 1992. as G capitata photo fide; The Manual of Cultivated Orchids Species Bechtel, Cribb & Launert 1992 drawing fide; Orchids of the High Mountain Atlantic Rainforest in SE Brazil Warren & Miller 1994; An Orchid Flora Of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Ackerman 1995; Orchids of Venezuela [An illustrated field guide] Vol. 1 Ramiro and Carnevali 2000 as G ernestii drawing ok; Orchids of Venezuela [An illustrated field guide] Vol. 1 Ramiro and Carnevali 2000 drawing ok; Orchidaceae Antillanae Nir 2000; Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 2 Dodson 2001 as G sodiroi fide; Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 2 Dodson 2001 as G platyglossa fide; Orquideas Nativas del Tachira Cesar Fernandez 2003 as G ernstii photo fide; Orchids of The Brazilian Central Plateau Menezes 2004 as G gardnerii photo fide; The Orchids of Cuba Llamacho & Larramendi 2005 photo good; Orquideas Tesoro de Colombia Ortiz & Uribe 2017 as G platyglossa photo fide; Orquideas Tesoro de Colombia Ortiz & Uribe 2017; Orchid Genera and Species in Guatemala Archila, Szlachchetko, Chiron, Lipinska, Mystkowska and Bertolini 2018 as G capitata; W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ;