Epidendrum churunense Garay & Dunst. 1965 GROUP Alberti SUBGROUP Allenii

Plant and Flower

Photos by © J Renz and The Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Jany Renz Herbaria Website

Common Name The Rio Churun Epidendrum [a River in Venezuela]

Flower Size .8" [2 cm]

Found in Colombia and Venezuela in fairly tall rainforests at elevations around 400 to 600 meters as a small to medium sized, hot to warm growing epiphyte with cane-like, simple, basally terete, compressed above stems carrying 3 to 5, all along the upper 1/2 of the stem, coriaceous, lanceolate, acute, basally clasping leaves that blooms on a terminal, occuring only once, on a mature stem, racemose to occasionally branched, terete to subterete, to 3" [7.5 cm] long including the elongating peduncle to 2" [5 cm] long, successively single flowered inflorescence enveloped completely by imbricating, compressed, grey green bracts.

"Epidendrum churunense Garay & Dunsterville belongs to the GROUP Alberti which is characterized by the sympodial habit, laterally compressed to ancipitose or somewhat fusiform-thickened stems, the apical or apical and lateral racemose, distichous inflorescence more or less with imbricating bracts on the peduncle, producing one flower at a time, and the which is characterized by the stems with numerous leaves, the apical inflorescence (rarely lateral), peduncle elongate, bare, non-bract bearing, two-winged, the rachis short, covered by rounded, usually imbricating bracts and the Convergens Complex which has a 3-lobed lip and 8 pollinia. The species has only 4 pollinia, smaller flowers with sepals .32 to .36" [8 to 9 mm] long, the column very short and thickened, .08" [2 mm] long, and the base of the peduncle on the inflorescence is covered by some 6 imbricating bracts. Epidendrum nora-mesae has plants up to 14.3 [37.2 cm] tall (including the inflorescence), lanceolate leaves .8 to 4.8" x .16 to .96" [2 to 12 x 0.4 to 2.4 cm], the inflorescence visibly longer than the apical leaf, sepals .56 to .84" [14 to 21 mm] long, the deeply 3-lobed lip, the mid–lobe obcuneate, and the lateral lobes semi-ovate, apically obtuse. It is somewhat similar to Epidendrum convergens Garay & Dunsterville, which has smaller flowers, sepals .34" [8.5 mm] long, and the lateral lobes of the lip triangular and acuminate, raising in natural position and nearly as long as the mid–lobe. Epidendrum peristerium Hágsater & E.Santiago has somewhat smaller flowers with sepals .44" [11 mm] long, greenish-white, the lip white, in general outline reminiscent of a dove in flight, with the midlobe sub-quadrate. NOTE: This complex of three species which includes Epidendrum convergens, E. nora-mesae, and E. peristerium, is unusual in the genus in having 8 pollinia, where most species in Epidendrum have only 4, and a small number of species in various groups only have 2." Adqapted from E nora-mesae Icones Plate 1362 Hagsater etal 2010


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; *Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated Vol 3 Dunsterville & Garay 1965 drawing fide; Flora de Venezuela Vol XV Tercera Parte Foldats 1970 drawing fide; Orchids of Venezuela, an Illustrated Field Guide Vol 1 Dunsterville & Garay 1979 drawing fide; Orchids of Venezuela an Illustrated Field Guide Vol 1 Romero & Carnevali 2000 drawing fide; Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana Vol 7 Steyermark, Berry, Yatskievych and Holst 2003; Icones Orchidacearum 13 Plate 1362 Hagsater & Dodson 2010 See Recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 13 Plate 1370 Hagsater & Dodson 2010 See Recognition section; Orquideas, Tesoro de Colombia Vol 2 Ortiz & Uribe 2017 photo fide;