Porroglossum muscosum (Rchb. f.) Schltr. 1920 SUBGENUS Porroglossum SECTION Echidna Luer 1987 Photos by Jay Pfahl

Another Flower

Flower Closeup Photos by Patricia Harding

Extreme Closeup Photos by Jay Pfahl

Lip is all positions

Clavate Upper Tail Specimen Photos by Peter Bryder


Common Name The Mossy Porroglossum [Refers to the pubescent peduncle]

Flower Size about 3/4" [2 cm]

A miniature sized, epiphytic or terrestrial, cool to cold growing orchid that comes from the wet montane forests of Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador at altitudes of 1600 to 3000 meters with an erect, slender ramicaul enveloped by 2 to 3 tubular sheaths and a single, apical, erect, thickly coriaceous, verrucose, purple suffused, narrowly elliptic to narrowly obovate leaf and blooms in the fall on an erect, densly pubescent, to 6 to 7" [15 to 17.5 cm] long, successively few flowered inflorescence with a single central bract and has tubular, imbricating floral bracts, with a single flower at a time held well above the leaves.

This species has an interesting muscular lip that can be activated to close shut in a second after which it takes a half hour to relax. Studies have been done to see if this mechanism is a means of trapping insects to achieve pollen transfer.

Synonyms *Masdevallia muscosa Rchb. f. 1875; Masdevallia xipheres Rchb. f. 1876; Porroglossum xipheres (Rchb. f.) Garay 1967; Scaphosepalum xipheres (Rchb. f.) Schltr. 1920

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915 as Masdevallia muscosa; AOS Bulletin Vol 27 No 1 1958 as Masdevallia muscosa drawing ok; Die Orchideen 3 Auflage Bd 1 Sonderabdruck aus Schlechter Lieferung 8 449 - 512 Brieger, Maatsch and Senghas 1976 as Masdevallia muscosa; Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965 as Masdevallia muscosa; Systematics of the Pleurothallidinae Vol 1 1986; Icones Pleurothallidinarum Systematics of Acostea, Condylago and Porroglossum Vol 4 1987 drawing fide; Orchids Travel By Air A Pictoral Safari Mulder, Mulder-Roelfsema and Schuiteman 1990 photo fide; The Manual Of Cultivated Orchid Species Bechtel, Cribb & Launert 1992 drawing fide; Native Colombian Orchids Vol 4 COS 1992 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 70 No 1 2001 photo fide; Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 4 Dodson 2003 photo ok; Orquideas Nativas del Tachira Cesar Fernandez 2003 photo ok; AOS Bulletin Vol 74 No 9 2005 photo fide; Orchid Digest Vol 70 #1 2006 photo fide; Mille et Une Mini Orchideees Roguenant 2009 photo fide; An Illustrated Field Guide to the Orchids of the Yotoco Forest Reserve Colombia Kolanowska, Escobar, Sanchez & Szlachetko 2011 drawing/photo fide