Epidendrum blepharistes Barker ex Lindl. GROUP Bleparistes

Plant and Flowers in situ Navarco Quindio, Colombia elevations 1500 meters 5/08

Photos by © Jay Pfahl

Costa Rican Variety

Photo by Daniel Jimenez ©

Another Color Form

Photo by Carlos Hajek and his Peruvian Orchid Page

Plant and Flowers in situ Peru

Photo by © Eric Hunt


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


Common Name The Fringed Epidendrum

Flower Size 2 3/8" [6 cm]

Found in Costa Rica, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia in wet, montane cloud forests with heavy moss on dead tree crotches often with in conjunction of an ant colony and is found at elevations of 1400 to 2500 meters on high, steep, exposed, rocky slopes as a medium to giant sized, cool to cold growing, pseudobulbous epiphyte or terrestrial with erect, thickly fusiform below pseudobulbs, distichously leafed above, enveloped completely by evanescent, tubular sheaths and carrying 3, coriaceous, oblong, linear-oblong to oblong-elliptic, obtuse to apiculate leaves that blooms at most any time of the year on a terminal, 2' [60 cm] long, erect, few to densely many flowered, subumbellate, racemose inflorescence arising on a mature, wrinkled, fusiform, sulcate pseudobulb that is subtended by several scarious bracts and carrying 4 to 5 alternate, conduplicate towards the base, linear-lanceolate, obtuse leaves.

This species is often found in conjunction with ants and may benefit from their presence. I can personally attest to this as when I was photographing the flower above on a dead tree that I had climbed up at the side of a road, the ants came boiling out and got all over me within seconds. I scrambled down out of the tree removing my shirt and my comrades and myself began pulling the large black ants off of my torso as they all started to bite at once.

Here is a list of the Peruvian Epidendrum with true pseudobulbs, E compressibulbum, E harmsianum, E microcattleya, E oellgaardii, E parvilabre, E polystachyum, E pseudopolystachum, E rupestre, E saxicola and E viviparum.

"Epidendrum blepharistes belongs to the GROUP Bleparistes, characterized by the base of the stems thickened, forming fusiform pseudobulbs, narrow, linear-lanceolate to linear-oblong leaves, an elongate inflorescence with few-flowered racemes of lilac-pink to white flowers. The species is recognized by the plants up to 48" [120 cm] tall, with 4 to 10 linear-oblong leaves, small creamy white or lilac-pink flowers with sepals .2 to .32" [5 to 8 mm] long, cuneate-spatulate petals with the margin erose-denticulate, the apical margin of the lobes of the lip deeply dentate. Epidendrum polystachyum Kunth is vegetatively very similar, but the plants are apically bi- or trifoliate, the flowers yellowish, the petals acuminate with the margin slightly dentate, and the lateral lobes of the lip subquadrate, with the margin minutely dentate and the midlobe very small, only slightly bilobed . Epidendrum pseudopolystachum D.E.Benn. & Christenson has short plants, to 8.8" [22 cm] tall, bifoliate with oblong-elliptic leaves and greenish flowers, the petals and the lip with entire margins. Epidendrum flexuosum G.Mey. has somewhat similar, narrow leaves, but the stems are not thickened-fusiform, the flowers are larger, with the sepals .6 to .76" [15 to 19 mm] long, lilac-pink to magenta, and the lip is entire, oblong-rectangular. Other species in Mesoamerica like Epidendrum radicans Pavón ex Lindl., Epidendrum apatotylosum Hágsater, Epidendrum baumannianum Schltr. and Epidendrum hawkesii Heller are vegetatively and florally very different, with elliptic leaves, and larger, reddish orange flowers." Hagsater etal 2008

Synonyms Epidendrum brachycladium Lindl. 1853; Epidendrum brachycladium var. crassipes Lindl. 1853; Epidendrum crassipes (Lindl.) Kraenzl. 1916; Epidendrum crassipes (Lindl.) Schltr. ?; Epidendrum dolabrilobum Ames & C.Schweinf. 1925; Epidendrum funckii Rchb.f. 1849; Epidendrum pachypodum Schltr. 1920

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Bonplandia Rchb.f 1855 as E funkii; Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 6: 68 Schlechter 1919 as E blepharistes; Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 6: 69 Schlechter 1919 as E crassipes; *Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 7: 140 Schlechter 1920 as E pachypodum; Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 7: 246 Schlechter 1920 as E blepharistes; Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 7: 247 Schlechter 1920 as E funkii; Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 7: 249 Schlechter 1920 as E pachypodum; Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 10: 69 Schlechter 1922 as E brachycladium; Repert. Sp. Nov. Regni. Veg. Beih. 27: 66 Colombia Schlechter 1924 as E funkii; Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. Figuren -Atlas 57: 192 Schlechter 1929 as E pachypodum drawing fide; The Genus Epidendrum Ames 1936 as Epidendrum dolabrilobum; Ceiba Vol 5 No 1 L O Williams 1956 as E dolabrilobum; Orchids of Peru Vol 2 Fieldiana Schweinfurth 1959 as Epidedndrum funkii; Flora de Venezuela Foldats Volumen XV Part 3 1970 drawing fide; Orquideologia Vol 12 3/4 1977/8 as E dolabriilobum; Bot Notiser 130 Lojtnant 1977 as E funkii; Orquideologia Vol 14 No 1 1979 as E dolabrilobum; ORQUIDEA (Méx.) 9(1): 1983 as E dolabrilobum fide; Icones Orchidacearum Peruviarum Plate 046 Bennett & Christenson 1993 as E funkii drawing fide; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum plate 378 Dodson 1982 as E funkii drawing fide; Field Guide to the Orchids of Costa Rica and Panama Dressler 1993; Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 2 Dodson 2001 drawing fide; Manual de las Plantas de Costa Rica Vol 3 Hammel, Grayum, Herrera and Zamora 2003; Machu Picchu Orchids Christenson 2003 as E funkii; AOS Bulletin Vol 73 No 8 2004 as E dolabrilobum; Orchids of Bolivia Vol 2 Laelinae Vasquez and Ibisch 2004 as E funkii photo good; Orquideologia 24: 3 Ortiz & Hagsater 2005 as E funkii; Icones Orchidacearum Vol 11 Plate 1105 Hagsater & Sanchez 2008 drawing fide; Icones Orchidacearum Vol 11 Plate 1125 Hagsater & Sanchez 2008 see recognition section; Orchid Species of Peru Zelenko Bermudez 2009 photo fide; Las Orquideas del Peru Izerskyy & Bezverhov 2011 photo fide; An Illustrated Field Guide to the Orchids of the Yotoco Forest Reserve Colombia Kolanowska, Escobar, Sanchez & Szlachetko 2011 as E funkii drawing/photo fide; Orchids of the Department of Valle De Cauca Colombia Vol 2 Kolanowska, Hagsater etal. 2014 drawing/photo fide; Orquideas, Tesoro de Colombia Vol 2 Ortiz & Uribe 2017 photo fide; Orquideas, Tesoro de Colombia Vol 2 Ortiz & Uribe 2017 as E funkii; Orquideas, Tesoro de Colombia Vol 2 Ortiz & Uribe 2017 as E pachypodon drawing fide; Icones Orchidacearum 17(1) Plate 1743 Hagsater & Jimenez 2019 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 17(1) Plate 1790 Hagsater & Jimenez 2019 see recognition section; Orquideas de Farallones de Cali Galindo-Tarazona, Haelterman, Zuluaga Trochez and Sebastian Moreno 2020 photo fide