Brassavola subulifolia Lindley 1831 SUBGENUS Brassavola SECTION Cuneilabia

Photo by Allen Black

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Common Name Heart-lipped Brassavola

Flower Size 1 3/4" [4.15 cm]

Found in Jamaica as a medium sized, hot to warm growing epiphyte with robust, terete, clavate, 2 to 3 noded, erect or ascending stems carrying a single, apical, erect, often slightly arcuate, shiny, deep green, thickly fleshy, semicylindric, linear-lanceolate, acute, deeply channeled leaves that blooms in the late summer to fall on a branched, 6" [15 cm] long, racemose inflorescence that carries up to 6 long-lived flowers that smell of citrus only at night.

Grows best mounted on wood and likes some shade and watering while in growth and a lessening after the psuedobulbs have matured and the plant has flowered.

This plant was formerly and popularly known as Brassavola cordata Lindley 1836 and is actually correctly named Brassavola subulifolia Lindley 1831 which was an obscure earlier publication that came to light more recently.

B harrisii was proposed by Jones to accomodate the western Jamaican B subulifolia plants that have larger [more than 2.6" [6.5 cm] wide] flowers in larger numbers [14 to 16] per inflorescence and leaves that are about 12" [30 cm] long than the eastern Jamaican variety that have flowers less that 2.6" [6.5 cm] wide and in smaller numbers per inflorescence [3 to 8] with leaves about 8" [20 cm] long. I follow Ackerman [2000/2014] in keeping the 2 varieties as a single species.

Synonyms Bletia cordata [Lindley] Rchb.f 1862; Bletia nodosa var cordata [Lindley] Rchb.f 1863; Brassavola cordata Lindley 1836; Brassavola harrisii H.G.Jones 1968; Brassavola nodosa Hkr. not Lindley 1833; Brassavola nodosa subsp. cordata (Lindl.) N.H. Williams; Brassavola sloanei Griseb. 1864; Brassavola stricta Hort 1885; Lysimnia bicolor Raf. 1836

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Xenia Orchidaceae vol 2 Rchb.f 1862 as Bletia cordata; Symbolae Antillanae Vol VI Orchidaceae Urban 1909; Flora of Jamaica Fawcett & Rendle 1910 as B cordata drawing fide; Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915 as B cordata; Atlas des Orchidees Cultivees Constantin 1920 as B cordata drawing fide; The Genus Epidendrum Ames 1936 as Epidendrum subulatifolium; Orchids of Malaya Holtum 1953 as B cordata; Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965 as B cordata; Flora of the Lesser Antilles Garay & Sweet 1974 appendix; Die Orchideen 3 Auflage Bd 1 Sonderabdruck aus Schlechter Lieferung 10 576 - 632 Brieger, Maatsch and Senghas 1977 photo fide; Manual of Cultivated Orchids Bechtel, Cribb & Laurent 1992 as B cordata drawing good; Illustrated Encyclopedia of Orchids Pridgeon 1992 as B cordata; Manual of Orchids Stewart 1995 as B cordata; Orchids of Jamaica Gloudon & Tobisch 1995 as B cordata; AOS Bulletin Vol 65 No 9 1996 photo fide; The Cattleyas and Their Relatives Vol V Withner 1998 drawing/photo fide; Orchidaceae Antillanae Nir 2000; Botanica's Orchids Laurel Glenn 2002; Flora Of Ecuador # 76 225[2] Dodson & Luer 2005; Flora's Orchids Nash & La Croix 2005 as B subulifolia; AOS Bulletin Vol 72 No 5 2003 photo fide; The World's Most Beautiful Orchids Allikas & Nash 2005 photo fide; Orchid Digest vol 71 #4 Oct, Nov, Dec 2007 drawing/photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 78 #4 2009 photo fide; AOS Bulletin vol 78 No 7 2009 photo fide; AOS Bulletin vol 78 No 11 2009 photo fide; Mille et Une Mini Orchideees Roguenant 2009 photo fide; Orchid Flora of the Greater Antilles Ackerman 2014 drawing fide; Orchid Digest Vol 79 #3 2015 drawing fide; Orchid Digest Vol 80 #2 2016 subulifolia; AOS Bulletin Vol 87 #1 2018 as B cordata photo fide;