Epidendrum chaoticum Hágsater & E.Santiago 2009 GROUP Andean SUBGROUP Fritzianum

TYPE Drawing by Jimenenz and The AMO Herbaria Website

Common Name The Chaotic Epidendrum [refers to the chaotic story of this species see caution below]

Flower Size 1.2" [3 cm]

Found in Azuay province of Ecuador and Huanuco province of Peru on the upper Amazon slope of the Andes at elevations of 2370 to 2900 meters as a giant sized, cold growing terrestrial with cane-like, straight, branching above, branches shorter than the main stem carrying numerous on the main stem, all along the apical 2/3's, alternate, articulate, coriaceous, narrowly elliptic, obtuse leaves that blooms in the winter on a terminal, suberect, racemose, peduncle short, naked, lax, successively 8 to 12 flowered inflorescence with shorter than the ovary, triangular, acuminate, amplexicaul floral bracts and carrying non-resupinate, fleshy, green suffused with pale yellowish purple flowers.

CAUTION Originally described as E aurorae but that name's basionym was E polyphyllum and it was previously published by Vell. in 1831 thereby being illegal. Hoehne used E friztianum to describe that species so thereby both E aurorae [only the text] and E polyphyllum are synonyms of E friztianum. To top it off Bennett & Dodson used a drawing for E aurorae that was another species, which now is described as E chaoticum.

"Epidendrum chaoticum is part of GROUP Andean SUBGROUP Fritzianum characterized by the monopodial stems branched above, the ovate to ovate-elliptic, acute to short acuminate leaves, the lateral sepals obliquely united to the base of the column, and clearly three lobed lip. The species is recognized by the tall plants, to 72" [180 cm], the narrowly elliptic, obtuse leaves .6 to .72" [1.5 to 1.8 cm]wide, erect, few flowered inflorescence, greenish flowers, sepals .8" [20 mm] long, with the margin slightly revolute, entire, sub-quadrate lip, the margin erose. Epidendrum fritzianum Hoehne has shorter plants, up to 40" [100 cm] tall, oblong-elliptic leaves, -2 to 1" [2.3 to 2.5 cm] wide, the apex acute, arching-nutant inflorescence the flowers green dotted purple, sepals .32 to .36" [8 to 9 mm] long, the margin spreading, and the lip 3-lobed. Epidendrum vernixium Rchb.f. has oblong-lanceolate, sub-obtuse leaves, a many-flowered inflorescence, .48" [12 mm] long sepals, and a 3-lobed lip with the lateral lobes falcate-reniform." Hagsater etal 2009


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Icones Plantarum Tropicarum Plate 57 Bennett & Dodson 1989 as E aurorae drawing fide [not text!]; Icones Orchidacearum 12 Plate 1219 Hágsater & Santiago 2009 Drawing/photo fide; Icones Orchidacearum 12 Plate 1281 Hagsater 2009 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 16[1} Plate 1645 Hagsater & Sanchez 2018 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 17(1) Plate 1718 Hagsater & Jimenez 2019 see recognintion section; Icones Orchidacearum 18(2) Plate 1875 Hagsater & Jimenez 2021 see recognition section