Epidendrum alfaroi Ames & C. Schweinf. 1930 GROUP Neowilliamsia

Flower Closeup Photos by © Daniel Jimenez

Drawing TYPE Drawing by © Jimenez, Hágsater & E.Santiago and The AMO Herbario Website

FragranceFull shadeWarmColdSpringSummer

Common Name Alfaro's Epidendrum [Costa Rican Orchid Enthusiast 1900's]

Flower Size .6" [1.5 cm]

Found in Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia in primary forests at elevations around 700 to 2500 meters as a miniature to small sized, warm to cold growing epiphyte with simple, erect, cane-like stems enveloped by leafless sheaths, and leaf bearing towards the apex and carrying a few, alternate, articulate, oblong-elliptic, rounded and bilobed and apiculate, coriaceous leaves that blooms in the spring and summer on a terminal, racemose, erect to slightly arching, laxly few flowering, occurring only once, 2" [5 cm] long inflorescence with 4 to 13, simultaneous , non-resupinate, fragrant flowers.

"Epidendrum alfaroi belongs to the GROUP Neowilliamsia characterized by the ancipitose stems and rachis, the rachis with conduplicate, acute bracts distichous, usually non-resupinate flowers, the lip often digitate and the 2 or 4 pollinia with 2 hard laminar, caudides. The species is recognized by relatively short plants to 12" [30 cm] tall, with 1 to 3 apical leaves, racemose inflorescence, the flowers generally yellowlsh orange spotted with brown, the lip 3-lobed with the lateral lobes deeply laciniate and reaching the apex of the midlobe, and 4 pollinia. Epidendrum wercklei Schltr. has larger plants with a paniculate, many-flowered inflorescence, wlth up to 150 white to greenish white flowers with brown- purple spots, the lateral lobes of the lip somewhat shorter than the midlobe and 2 pollinia. Epidendrum philowercklei Hágsater & E.Santlago is vegetatively similar, has been confused with E. wercklei, but has a very wide aperture at the apex of the column, and the flowers are yellow-ochre to yellowish green with transverse reddish brown bars." Hagsater etal 2007

Synonyms Epidanthus alfaroi (Ames & C.Schweinf.) Garay 1977; Neowilliamsia alfaroi (Ames & C.Schweinf.) Dressler 1981

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; *Sched. Orch. 10: 55. 1930; The Genus Epidendrum Ames 1936; Ceiba Vol 5 No 1 L O Williams 1956; Orquídea (Mexico City). 8(1): 3 1981 photo fide; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum plate 1374 Atwood 1989 as Neowilliamsia alfaroi drawing fide; Field Guide to the Orchids of Costa Rica and Panama Dressler 1993; Icones Orchidacearum 4 Plate 486 Hagsater 2001 see recognition section; Rudolf Schlechter Die Orchideen Band 1C lieferung 42 - 43 pg 2626 - 2762 Brieger 2001 as Neowilliamsia alfaroi; Manual de las Plantas de Costa Rica Vol 3 Hammel, Grayum, Herrera and Zamora 2003 drawing not; Icones Orchidacearum 9 Plate 904 Hagsater 2007 drawing fide; Icones Orchidacearum 9 Plate 1000 Hagsater 2007 see recognition section; Orchids of Costa Rica Vol 3 Morales 2009 photo fide; Orquideas, Tesoro de Colombia Vol 2 Ortiz & Uribe 2017;