Epidendrum amethystinum Rchb.f. 1867 GROUP Ventricosum

Another Angle

Photos by Ecuagenera and their Ecuador Orchid Website

TYPE Drawing

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

Partial sun Cool LATERSpring

Common Name or Meaning The Purple Epidendrum

Flower Size .8" [2 cm]

Found in Ecuador on the upper western slopes in wet montane forests at elevations of 1200 to 1600 meters as a mini-miniature sized, cool growing epiphyte with simple, short, somewhat laterally thickened and compressed, cane-like stems carrying 3 to 5, lowermost deciduous during blooming, alternate, all along the stem, articulate, elliptic, bilobed apically, coriaceous, smooth, green, slightly tinged purple leaves that blooms in the late spring on a terminal, flowering only once, arching, short, 8 to 11 flowered inflorescence arising on a mature stem through a sub rectangular, conduplicate, apically rounded spathaceous bract which envelopes it completely and has much shorter than the ovary, short, triangular, acute floral bracts and carrying successively opening resupinate flowers opening towards the apex of the inflorescence first and then towards the base.

"Epidendrum amethystinum belongs to the GROUP Ventricosum which is recognized by the sympodial habit, few leaved stem, a prominent spathaceous bract, and the resupinate flowers mostly bright purple, with a wide, smooth nectary that does not penetrate the ovary. The species is recognized by erect, somewhat thickened stems with very coriaceous leaves, with a raceme of bright violet, crystal-like flowers opening from the apex of the scape backwards, subtended by a single narrow, spathaceous bract; there is nectar overflowing from the nectary into the concave lip, in front of the calli; the color of the flowers is like that of Nageliella. Epidendrum ventricosum Lindl. has sub-caespitose habit, medium sized plants with ancipitose stems the leaves are long and narrow 1.6 to 4.8" x .12 to .32" [4 to 12 x 0.3 to 0.8 cm], the lip is as wide as it is long, and the calli are small, about ¼th the length of the lip. Epidendrum pachygastrium Kraenzl. is very similar and is distinguished by the shorter, wider lanceolate leaves 1.2 to 3,2" x .24 to .4" [3 to 8 x 0.6 to 1.0 cm], and the lip slightly wider than long and with the two large, sub-globose calli nearly half as long as the lip. Epidendrum leimebambense Hágsater, is also similar, but leaves are wider, up to .68" [1.7 cm] wide, flowers larger, sepals .56 to .64" [14 to 16 mm] long, pale green marked with purple, and lip cordiform, .32 x .44" [8 x 11 mm]. Epidendrum diommum Hágsater & Chocce from Peru is similar to the former, has magenta to wine-colored, non transparent flowers, with bright white calli and sepals .62 to .76" [15.5 to 19 mm] long. The plant habit is somewhat similar to that of Epidendrum cupreum Lehm. & Kraenzl. and E orbiculatum C. Schweinf., but these have green to brown flowers of a very different texture." Hagsater etal 2010


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Xenia Orchidaceae vol 2 Rchb.f 1870 drawing; The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Orchids Pridgeon 1992 PHOTO FIDE; Manual Of Orchids Stewart 1995; Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 2 Dodson 2001 photo fide; Icones Orchidacearum 13 Plate 1302 Hagsater & Sanchez 2010 drawing fide; Icones Orchidacearum 18(2) Plate 1866 Hagsater & Jimenez 2021 see recognition section