Epidendrum sophronitis Linden & Rchb. f. 1867 GROUP Kalopternix

Photo by © Eric Hunt, plant grown by Hanging Gardens

Another Flower

Photo by © Dale Borders

Part shadeCoolTo Spring TO Summer

Common Name The Modest Kalopternix

Flower Size to about 1 1/2" [to 4 cm]

Found in Peru and Ecuador at elevations of 1500 to 3500 meters in very wet, montane forests, found very low on tree trunks in deep shade with constant moisture as a small sized, cool to cold, pendant growing species with stems that are enveloped by 4 to 5 distichous, imbricating, lanceolate, ballooning sheaths graduated in size from the base to the apex ballooning over the base of the oblong to broadly elliptic, conduplicate below into the clapsing base leaves carrying fleshy flowers close in to the leaf base, inside the midrib of the leaf and that is partially concealed by the uppermost sheath that blooms in the spring and summer terminal, subsessile, very short, 1 to 4 succesively flowered, racemose inflorescence arising on mature canes.

"Epidendrum sophronitis Linden & Rchb.f. belongs to the GROUP Kalopternix characterized by reduced rhizomatous stem with fleshy coriaceous leaves, and a sessile inflorescence without spathaceous bracts, fleshy leaves, and one or few fleshy, compact, star-shaped flowers, often variously decorated in burgundy red color, the column straight, thick, blunt. The species is recognized by the upright habit, a single cuneate, elliptic, acute leaf per pseudobulb, 37 x 15 mm, and the acuminate sepals are .48" [12 mm] long. Epidendrum mantinianum has upright elliptic leaves, the large flowers, lateral sepals 1.2 to 1.92" [30 to 48 mm] long, and the ovate-cordiform, acute to acuminate lip. It is similar to Epidendrum andrettae Hágsater which has a pendent habit, single, long leaves, the column geniculate with the ovary, at a 135° angle, and large flowers, sepals 1.52" [38 mm] long, with acuminate segments, the petals 5-veined; the lip base orbicular, apex narrowly triangular, concave, margin denticulate-erose at the base, the apical triangle entire. Epidendrum oxapampense Hágsater has smaller flowers, acute floral segments and, the lip short apiculate, the petals 3-veined and the coloration of the flowers green with a single, large pink to maroon blotch on the lip." adapted from as E mantinianum Icones 13 plate 1354 Hagsater etal 2010

Synonyms ; Hormidium sophronitis Benth. & Hook. f. 1899; Kalopternix sophronitis (Linden & Rchb. f.) Garay & Dunst. 1976

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Xenia Orchidaceae vol 2 Rchb.f 1870 as Epidendrum sophronitis drawing fide; Otia Botanica Hamburgensia Rchb.f 1878; Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915; Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965; Fieldiana Biology, Vol 33, 1st Supple. to the Orchids of Peru Scweinfurth 1970; Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated Vol 6 Dunsterville & Garay 1976 as Kalopternix sophronities; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum plate 928 Dodson 1984 as Kalopternix sophronitis drawing fide; ; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum Series II Orchids of Peru Plate 0072 Dodson & Bennett 1989 drawing fide; Native Colombian Orchids Vol 5 COS 1994 as E sophronitis; Icones Orchidacearum 3 Plate 343 Hagsater, Sanchez and Garcia Cruz 1999 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum Peruviarum Plate 472 Bennett & Christenson 1998 drawing fide; Rudolf Schlechter Die Orchideen Band 1C lieferung 42 - 43 pg 2626 - 2762 Brieger 2001 as Kalopternix sophronites; Icones Orchidacearum Peruviarum Plate 637 Bennett & Christenson 2001 see Observation Section; *The Cattleya and Their Relatives Vol 7 The Debateable Epidendrum Withner & Harding 2004; Orchid Species of Peru Zelenko Bermudez 2009 photo fide different color and lip form; Icones Orchidacearum 13 Plate 1354 Hagsater 2010 see recognition section; Miniature Orchids, A Compendium Parsons and Gerritson 2013 photo fide