Epidendrum cryptanthum L.O.Williams GROUP Polychlamys SUBGROUP Polychlamys

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

TYPE Drawing

TYPE Drawing by © L.O.Williams and the Epidendra Website

Part Shade Warm LATER Fall EARLY Spring

Common Name The Hidden Flower Epidendrum [refers to the flower being within the imbricating bracts of the inflorescence]

Flower Size .4" [1 cm]

Found in Costa Rica and Panama in wet forests at elevations around 600 to 1000 meters as a medium sized, warm growing epiphyte with scandent, branching growths and a simple, cane-like, terete, thin, slightly arcuate stems enveloped almost completely by tubular, dilated towards the apex sheaths and carrying 2 to 4, aggregated towards the apex of the stems, alternate, articulate, coriaceous, elliptic to ovate-elliptic, acute, gradually narrowing below into the base leaves with tubular, minutely striated, apically slightly inflated leaf bases that blooms in the later fall through early spring on an apical, arcuate, paniculate, producing 1 to 3, dense, distichous, short, about 5 flowered inflorescence nearly totally hidden within the nearly as long as the flower, ovate to ovate-oblong, subacute, conduplicate, glumaceous, somewhat erose apically floral bracts and carrying flowers with the tepals creamy white.

"Epidendrum cryptanthum belongs to the GROUP Polychlamys SUBGROUP Polychlamys which is characterized by the successive lateral growths, the distichous, apical inflorescence with prominent, conduplicate, acute, glumaceous floral bracts. The species is distinguished by the short, compact, paniculate inflorescence, composed of 1 to 3 racemes, a feature which is not evident from the compact inflorescence, especially in pressed specimens, flowers creamy white totaly hidden within the imbricating glumaceous bracts, sepals free, .36 to .46" [9 to 11.5 mm] long, lip obovate-pandurate with the lateral margins involute, and the thin ovary not inflated. It has been confused with Epidendrum salpiclamys Hágsater & E.Santiago which has narrower leaves less than .68" [17 mm] wide, a simple, sessile, compact, racemose inflorescence, imbricating floral bracts, the trumpet- shaped, greenish yellow flowers, with the sepals basally connate and abruptly reflexed above the middle, the oblong lip and the thin, non-inflated ovary. Epidendrum estrellense Ames has an elongate inflorescence 2" [5 cm] long with 7 imbricating bracts covering the peduncle, greenish yellow to green flowers of similar size with the sepals .4" [10 mm] long, the lip is suborbicular-cordate, conduplicate in natural position, and the ovary does not form a vesicle." Hagsater etal 2007


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; The Orchids of Panama L.O. Williams & P Allen 1946; Ceiba Vol 5 No 1 L O Williams 1956; Field Guide to the Orchids of Costa Rica and Panama Dressler 1993;Icones Orchidacearum 2 Plate 115 Hagsater & Sanchez 1993 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 3 Plate 381 Hagsater 1999 see recognition section; Manual de las Plantas de Costa Rica Vol 3 Hammel, Grayum, Herrera and Zamora 2003; Icones Orchidacearum Vol 8 Plate 883 Hagsater & Sanchez 2006 see recognition section; Icones Orchidaceaerum 9 Plate 924 Hagsater & Sanchez 2007 drawing fide; Icones Orchidacearum 17(1) Plate 1740 Hagsater & Jimenez 2019 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 18(2) Plate 1865 Hagsater & Jimenez 2021 see recognition section