Epidendrum hymenodes Lindl. 1853 Photo by © M Rincon and The AMO Herbaria Website

Flower detail

Photo by © Alex Reynolds and the ORCHIDS of MAQUIPUCUNA Website

Plant and Flowers

Photo by © Orquideologia 29: 1 2012

Common Name The Maidenhead-Like Epidendrum

Flower Size 1" [2.5 cm] long

Found in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru in wet lowlands and montane forests at elevations around 300 to 1700 meters as a large sized, hot to cold growing epiphyte with simple, cane-like, terete, straight, tall, the basal 2/3 covered by scarious tubular sheaths which become fibrous with time, leaving the stem nude, and carrying to 4 to 7, distichous, grass-like, linear-lanceolate, margin entire, grayish green with the veins on the underside and margin slightly tinged purple, strongly acute leaves that blooms in the winter, spring, summer and fall on a terminal, without a spathe, nutant, from the mature growth, flowering only once, 1.6 to 4" [4 to 10 cm] long, short, ancipitose peduncle, enveloped by imbricating, covering the peduncle, embracing, membranaceous, scarious, narrowly lanceolate, long bracts, rachis terete, very thin, at the base and dilated apically, where the ovary is inserted, unornamented, paniculate, 8.8 to 20" [22 to 50 cm] long overall, successively several, 12 to 32 flowered inflorescence with as long as the flower, membraneous, lanceolate floral bracts and carrying non resupinate, non-fragrant, concolor, ivory green flowers with the column and ovary pale apple green, very fragile, the damaged parts quickly turning black.

"Epidendrum hymenodes is recognized by the caespitose, sympodial habit, tall stems with 4 to 7 narrowly lanceolate leaves, but especially by the nutant racemose to paniculate inflorescence with large scarious membranaceous bracts which completely hide the rachis, flowers produced in succession, from a recurved ovary so that the flowers are facing downwards at anthesis; the flowers are pale green, floral bracts very large, 1 to 2.4" [25 to 60 mm] long. Epidendrum heterodoxum Rchb.f. from Venezuela has somewhat similar flowers, also green and facing downwards, but the stem is laterally compressed above, the leaves are much larger, and the inflorescence is subtended by 1 large spathe, to 5.2" [13 cm] long, with a second bract subtending a small branch, the inflorescence also nodding, but the floral bracts are very small, to .3" [7.5 mm] long. Epidendrum moronense Dodson & Hágsater has short, thickened stems 1.6" [4 cm] long, with 1 to 4, lanceolate elliptic leaves, non-resupinate flowers, greenish, to pinkish or buff, the lip white, sometimes tinged with pale pink, column green, strongly reflexed sepals and petals nearly as long as the ovary, and the lip is reniform to suborbicular with the margin deeply laciniate. These species do not appear to be closely related, but suggest a similar pollinator might be involved." Hagaster etal 2018

Synonyms Epidendrum arundinaceum F.Lehm. & Kraenzl.1899; Epidendrum zingiberaceum Schltr. 1921

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 6: 70 Schlechter 1919; Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 7: 244 Schlechter 1920 as E arundinaceum; Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 7: 247 Schlechter 1920; Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 8: 88 Ecuador Schlechter 1921 as E zingiberaceum; Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. Figuren-Atlas 57: 367 Schlechter 1929 as E zingiberaceum drawing fide; Orchids of Peru Vol 2 Schweinfurth 1959 as E arundinaceum; Flora de Venezuela Vol XV Parte 3 Foldats 1970; Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 2 Dodson 2001 photo fide; Orquideas Nativas del Tachira Cesar Fernandez 2003 as E arundinaceum photo fide; Orquideologia Vol 29 #1 2012 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; Icones Orchidacearum 16(1) plate 1622 Hagsater etal 2018 in recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 16(1) plate 1626 Hagsater etal 2018 in recognition section; Orquideas de Farallones de Cali Galindo-Tarazona, Haelterman, Zuluaga Trochez and Sebastian Moreno 2020 photo fide