Lepanthopsis doucetteana Pfahl, sp.nov. 2020 SUBGENUS Lepanthopsis SECTION Lepanthopsis

Plant and flower

Photos by © Tomas Bajza and his Tarzane Group Micro, Miniature and Small Orchid Website


Plant and Flowers

TYPE Drawing - Key to Drawing: "A" plant and flowers, "B" flower, "C" dorsal sepal, "D" lateral sepals, "E" petals, "F" lip,

Photos/TYPE drawing by © Alfonso Doucette


Common Name Doucette's Lepanthopsis [Dedicated to Dr Alfonso Doucette a tireless taxomonist within the Pleurothallidinae and discoverer of the species]

Flower Size .08" [2 mm]

ABSTRACT The new species is within the Orchidaceae family and within the genus Lepanthosis and was discovered in the greenhouse of Alfonso Doucette in Madison Wisconsin. It was purchased from The Tarzane Orchid Group in Florida as a Lepanthosis sp. without provenance or elevational data. When it bloomed it was obvious that we had a new species.

Holotype: ECUADOR. Flowered in cultivation in Madison, WI, 2 Sep 2020, acquired from Tarzane Orchid Group Inc., FL, A.Doucette 254 (WI).

Found in Ecuador without specific locality or elevational data as a mini-miniature sized, cool* growing caespitose, epiphyte with a few roots 1.6 to 2.4" [4 to 6 cm] long, a short rhizome giving rise to semi-erect to repent ramicauls enveloped by a short, .08" [2 mm] long by .04" [1 mm] wide, tubular basal sheath and a longer, .32" [8 mm] long by .04" [1 mm] wide, inflated, acute sheath above and carrying a single, apical, ovate, .4 to .68" [10 to 17 mm] long by .2 to .36" [5 to 9 mm] wide, retuse apically leaf that blooms on a terminal, peduncle .52 to .8" [1.3 to 2 cm] long by .02" [.5 mm] wide, successively few, alternate, densely many flowered inflorescence with .02 to .024" [.5 to .6 mm] long by .02 to .028" [.5 to .7 mm] wide floral bracts. The flowers consist of an oblong, 3 veined, 1.9 to 2 mm long x 1.1 to 1.2 mm wide dorsal sepal, a widely elliptic, 3 veined, 1.5 to 1.9 mm long x 1.5 to 1.7 wide lateral sepals are fused for their entire length, the suborbicular, cupped, .5 x .5 mm petals, a oblong-elliptic, slightly bilobed, .9 to 1 mm long x 1 to 1.1 mm wide lip, the semi-terete, short, 0.2 mm long x 0.5 mm wide column with a ventral anther and a transversely bilobed stigma and there are 2, spherical, yellow pollinia which do not appear to have a viscidium.

Habitat: Ecuador but without location and elevational data but *the growth temperatures were ascertained by growing the species in two different environments, one warm (80F day temp with a drop down to 65F at night) and the other cool (75F and a drop to 55F at night). Doucette has been growing them separately for about four months now and the one that is growing cool has really taken off. It has produced two new shoots while the one that is growing warm has only produced one new shoot and lost a leaf. Based on their performance, Doucette hypothesizes that this species is a cool growing species from between 1800 and 2000 meters in Ecuador.

Etymology: Named for Alfonso Doucette presently of Madison Wisconsin, Botanist and Pleurothallid lover extrodinaire and discoverer of the species.

Phenology: The species bloomed in the late summer and early spring but it may, in maturity and good health, as others in the genus are, become basically free-flowering.

Diagnosis: The new species is most similar florally to Lepanthopsis floripectin but can be distinguished by the lack of lepanthiform sheaths on the ramicaul.

Discussion: Lepanthopsis hyalina (Cuba) and Lepanthopsis vellozicola (Brazil) both lack the lepanthiform sheaths of the ramicaul but the sepals in both of those species are pretty different from the new species. L. hyalina doesn't have the lateral sepals fused for the whole length and the lateral sepals of L. vellozicola are shortly acuminate and those of the new species are not. The column of the new species is also distinctive because it sticks out kind of like in Platystele scopulifera so that the stigma is facing downwards instead of forwards. That difference in the column distinguishes the new species from all three.

Synonyms W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Icones Pleurothallidinarum VIII Systematics of Lepanthospsis, Octomeria subgenus Pleurothallopsis, Restrepiella, Salpistele and Teagueia Luer 1991 drawing/photo fide; New species of Platystele and Pleurothallis (Orchidaceae) from Cuba. Willdenowia 32: 99-104.Stenzel, H. 2002; Two new species of Orchidaceae from Brazil: Bulbophyllum carassense and Lepanthopsis vellozicola. Novon 19: 380-387.Custódio da Mota, R., Barros, F., and Stehmann, J.R. 2009.