Epidendrum hellerianum A.D.Hawkes 1966 GROUP Physinga

Photo by © F. Lozano Useche

Back of Flower

Photo by © J Bohrman and Icones Orchidacearum 18(2) Plate 1873 Hagsater & Jimenez 2021

TYPE Drawing

Plant on collection sheet probable type

TYPE Drawing and Collection by © A D Hawkes and The Epidendra Website

Part ShadeHot Warm EARLY Winter

Common Name Heller's Epidendrum [Nicaraguan Botanist 1900's]

Flower Size 2.4" [6 cm]

Found in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia in constant humid rainforests at elevations of sea level to 600 meters as a small to medium sized, hot to warm growing epiphyte with a simple, slender stem carrying articulate to the sheaths, narrowly linear, acuminate leaves that blooms in the early winter arising from the base of the uppermost leaf, conspicuously fractiflex, filiform, somewhat pendent, 3.6 to 5.2" [9 to 13 cm] long, successively single, few flowered inflorescence carrying pendent, spreading, white flowers.

The thin stems, the fractiflex peduncle, the successively opening white flowers with long and narrow tepals, and especially the inflated and transluscent ovary separate this species from others.

Epidendrum hellerianum belongs to the GROUP Physinga which is characterized by to the generally small, caespitose plants, the inflorescence apical and racemose producing new racemes with time and thus pluriracemose, the successive flowers opening one at a time on an elongate peduncle with acuminate bracts, the lip entire and the ovary with a prominent vesicle. The species is recognized by a 3-lobed lip, and larger flowers, petals 1.2" x .08" [30 x 2 mm], lateral sepals linear 1 to 1.2" x .12 to .16" [25 to 30 x 3 to 4 mm], column straight of .6 to .68" [15 to 17 mm] long. It closely resembles Epidendrum ceticaudatum but it differs in the the bell-shaped lip, apex truncate, minutely apiculate, petals .528 x .044" [13.2 x 1.1 mm] long, lateral sepals slightly falcate, .548" x .088" [13.7 x 2.2 mm] long, slightly arched column of .32" [8 mm] long. Adapted from Plate 1511 Hagsater etal 2015

"All other species of this group, including Epidendrum physodes Rchb.f., Epidendrum prostratum (Lindl.) Cogn., and : Epidendrum macroclinium Hágsater, have clearly smaller flowers, a short ovary, and an entire lip. Hagsater etal 2021


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Icones Plantarum Tropicarum Plate 718 Hamer 1982 drawing fide; Selbyana Vol 10 Orchids of Central America Hamer 1988 drawing fide; Field Guide to the Orchids of Costa Rica and Panama Dressler 1993; Manual de las Plantas de Costa Rica Vol 3 Hammel, Grayum, Herrera and Zamora 2003; Orchids of the Department of Valle De Cauca Colombia Vol 2 Kolanowska, Hagsater etal. 2014 drawing/photo fide; Icones Orchidacearum 15 [1] Plate 1511 Hagsater & Sanchez 2015 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 18(2) Plate 1873 Hagsater & Jimenez 2021 Drawing fide