Masdevallia selenites Koniger 1980 SUBGENUS Masdevallia SECTION Masdevallia SUBSECTION Masdevallia Photo courtesy of Lourens Grobler

Lip Detail Photo courtesy of Dale and Deni Borders.

Side view of Flower Photo courtesy of Richard Korber.

Common Name The Moon-Shaped Masdevallia [Refers to the subshaerical, white flower]

Flower Size 3/4" [2 cm]

This is a very local Peruvian species found only in one narrow valley at an elevation of 3000 meters and is a miniature sized, cold growing epiphyte with slender, erect ramicauls enveloped basally by 2 to 3 tubular sheaths and carrying a single, apical, erect, coriaceous, elliptical, obtuse leaf that is cuneate below into the slender petiole that blooms in the fall with a slender, erect, 2 to 2 2/5" [5 to 6 cm] long, single flowered inflorescence arising from low on the ramicaul with a bract near the base and a tubular floral bract that holds the flower at leaf heigth. Distinguished by the snow white, globose, sepaline cup with a small, basal red dot, the pubescent interior of the flower has a small opening concealing the petals, lip and column and the sepaline tails emerge abruptly from the blunt apices of the sepals and the dorsal sepal is clavate thickened.

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Systematics of Masdevallia Vol 2 Luer 1986; Orchid Digest Vol 58 No 4 1994 photo fide; Icones Pleurothallidinarum XXII Systematics of Maqsdevallia Part 3 Luer 2001 drawing fide; Las Orquideas del Peru Izerskyy & Bezverhov 2011 photo fide