Epidendrum cochlidium Lindl. 1840 GROUP Secundum SUBGROUP Secundum

Photo by Lourens Grobler

Full Sun CoolCold Spring Summer

Common Name The Shell-Like Epidendrum

Flower Size 1" [2.5 cm]

Found in Ecuador and Peru in open sphagnum swamps and dense forests at elevations of 1500 to 3000 meters as a giant sized, cool to cold growing epiphyte or terrestrial with stout, elongate stems enveloped completely by close, tubular sheaths that are scarious and leafless below and leafy above and carrying many, distichous, oval to elliptic-oblong, obtuse to rounded, basally clasping leaves that blooms in the spring and summer on a terminal, erect to arching, much longer than the leaves, to 28" [70 cm] long, densely to subdensely many flowered, rarely branching inflorescence with inconspicuous, lanceolate-acuminate floral bracts.

"Epidendrum cochlidium Lindl., described from a collection by Mathews from Peru is said to have a large, complex callus, with the apex of the callus reaching the apical sinus of the lip; though color was not recorded by the collector, only suggested by Lindley probably on the basis of the dried material which is brown today. The species belongs to the GROUP Secundum SUBGROUP Secundum, recognized by the elongate inflorescence with bright colored, non-resupinate flowers with a complicated callus. Epidendrum portokalium is epiphytic and has orange-red colored flowers with a yellow canus, the lateral lobes of the column are dentate, petals wider than the sepals, and the callus is unequally 7-tuberculed. Epidendrum elongatum Jacq., a terrestrial species described from around Caracas and which also has orange flowers, has a much smaller callus. Epidendrum caquetanum Schltr. is also epiphytic, but has orange-red flowers with a 3-lobed, white, callus, and the petals are narrower than the sepals. Epidendrum macrocarpum L. Rich. which is larger overall, usually associated with ants, has a bicallose lip and much larger flowers with sepals .8 to 1.4" [20 to 35 mm] long in shades of orange and yellow. Adapted from E portokalium Icones Plate 778 Hagsater etal 2004

Synonyms Epidendrum pulcherrimum Klotzsch 1854

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Bonplandia Rchb.f 1854; Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 6: 68 Schlechter 1919; Orchids of Peru, Vol 2 Schweinfurth 1959; Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 2 Dodson 2001 Drawing/photo fide; Icones Orchidacearum 7 Plate 778 Hagsater and Sanchez 2004 see recognition section; Las Orquideas del Peru Izerskyy & Bezverhov 2011 photo fide; Icones Orchidacearum 14 Plate 1491 Hagsater & Santiago 2013 See recognition section; Orquideas, Tesoro de Colombia Vol 2 Ortiz & Uribe 2017 photo fide; Icones Orchidacearum 17(1) Plate 1718 Hagsater & Jimenez 2019 see recognintion section