Masdevallia aenigma Luer & R.Escobar 1982 SUBGENUS Polyantha SECTION Alaticaules SUBSECTION Alaticaules [Krzl.] Luer 1986

Photo by Patricia Harding

Lip Detail

Photo by Marius Wasbauer

TYPE Drawing

TYPE Drawing by Carl Luer


Common Name The Enigmatic Masdevallia [refers to the confusion identifing this species]

Flower Size 1 1/4" [3 cm]

Found in Boyaca, Santander, Norte de Santander and Cundinamarca departments of Colombia in cloud forests at elevations of 2450 to 3000 meters as a miniature sized, cold growing epiphyte with erect, slender, 1 to 2" tall ramicauls enveloped basally by 2 to 3 loose, tubular sheaths carrying a single, apical, erect, coriaceous, narrowly elliptical, subacute to obtuse leaf that gradually narrows below into the petiolate base leaf and blooms in the later winter through early fall on a erect, arising from low on the ramicaul carrying a bract towards the middle, triquetrous, 3 1/5 to 9 1/5" [8 to 23 cm] long, racemose, inflorescence with a tubular, shorter than the pedicel floral bract and is 2 to 4 flowered with 2 open simultaneously and are .4 to 1.2" [1 to 3 cm] apart.

Most similar to M excelsior but differs in the inflorescence that is as long as the leaves and the short sepaline tube, the lateral sepals that are expanded into a broad, concave synsepal with slender tails about the length of the blade and the apex of the lip that is acute and not verrucose.

Synonyms Alaticaulia aenigma (Luer & R.Escobar) Luer 2006

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Orquideologia Vol 16 No 1 1983 photo/drawing; Systematics of Masdevallia Vol 2 Luer 1986; Native Colombian Orchids Vol 6 COS 1998 photo fide; Icones Pleurothallidianrum XIX Systematics of Masdevallia Part One Luer 2000 drawing fide; Madevallia's in Kleur Vol 1 P M Oversteegen, Eisses & A P Sijm 2001 photo fide; Orquideologia Vol 22 #2 2002 photo fide; Icones Pleurothallidinarum Vol XXVIII Luer 2006 as Alaticaulia aenigma; Libro Rojo de Plantas De Colombia Vol 6 Primera Parte Saenz 2007; Orchids Masdevallia with its segregates including Dracula Zelenko 2014 photo fide;