Brachionidium alpestre Luer & R.Vásquez 1995

Photo by © J-M and The Orchid ForumWebsite

TYPE Drawing

Drawing by © Carl Luer and The Epidendra Orchid Website

Full shadeCold EARLYSummer

Common Name or Meaning The High Elevation Brachionidium

Flower Size 1.2" [3 cm]

Found in La Paz department of Bolivia at elevations of 2450 to 3100 meters as a miniature to small sized, cold growing epiphyte or terrestrial with a stout, occasionally branching rhizome enveloped by 3, scurfy, tubular sheaths, mucronate apically and fimbriate along the lower margins and giving rise to stout, suberect ramicauls enveloped by 2, scurfy, tubular sheaths and carrying a single, apical, suberect, coriaceous, denticulate above the middle, purple suffused, elliptical, acute, longitudinally 7 veined, gradually narrowing below into the petiolate base leaf that blooms in the early summer on a slender, erect, 1.4 to 2" [3.5 to 5 cm] long, single flowered inflorescence arising from near the apex of the ramicaul, with a loose bract near the middle and another at the base and has an inflated, acute, verrucose, much longer thant he pedicel and ovary floral bract and carrying a non-resupinate flower.

"Most similar to Brachionidium elegans but distinguished by the large, verrucose floral bract, a long-acuminate, flat synsepal, petals held downwards against the middle sepal and the broad obtuse lip. The sheaths of the stout, erect rhizomes and ramicauls of both species are scurfy, that is the surfaces are covered with minute, irregular, cellular appendages. Bot species are also similar to the Colombian Brachionidium parvifolium which has smooth sheaths but also easily distinguished by the 3 veined middle sepal and 4 veined synsepal instead of 5 to 7 veined and 8 or more veined. All three posses 8 pollina." Luer 1995


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; * Icones Pleurothallidinarum Vol XII Systematics of Brachionidium Luer 1995 drawing fide; Orchids of Bolivia Vol 1 Vasquez & Ibisch 2000 drawing/photo fide;