Epidendrum insulanum Schltr.1918 GROUP Ramosum SUBGROUP Flexicaule

Plant and Flowers Photos by © Bogarin, Used under permission of Epidendra Website


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


Common Name The Insular Epidendrum [refers to it geographic range which is an island]

Flower Size .4" [1 cm]

Found on the Isla de Coco off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica in rainforests at elevations around sea level to 300 meters as a medium sized, hot growing epiphyte with a pendant, branching, successive, flexuous, terete, thin, main stem longer than the branches and carrying mostly towards the apex, linear-elliptic, bilobed leaves with those on the main stem longer than the others that blooms in the winter through summer on a terminal, arising on the branches, sessile, racemose, distichous, single flowered inflorescence.

The solitary flower with an obtuse lip that is rounded at the base with a wide, triangular callus and a blunt keel that runs through the entire lip to form a mucron distinguishes this species.

"Epidendrum insulanum belongs to the GROUP Ramosum which is characterized by the monopodial, branching stems the spike-like distichous inflorescence, and the single callus, and the SUBGROUP Flexicaule which has a straggling plant habit, where tne main stem is not very evident, and the sepals have a dorsal keel which is generally prominent. The species is recognized by terete stems, short secondary stems 1.6 to 4" [4 to 10 cm] long, a single, lemon-green flower, the lip ovate, apex mucronate. The species shares the Cocos Island with E jimenezii Hagsater which has long laterally flattened stems which produce short secondary flowering stems with 1 to 3 white to greenish white flowers with 3-veined sepals; and E. cocoense Hágsater which has 6 to 12" [15 to 30 cm] long stems which produce a new stem from near the apex, leaves 2.8 to 6" x .52 to .8" [7 to 15cm x 1.3 to 2 cm], lemon-yellow flowers, sepals .4 to .48" [10 to 12 mm] long, the column with two acute teeth at the apex. Of the mainland species E. flexicaule has longer, leaves up to 3.28" [8.2 cm] long, 2 to 3 larger flowers, the sepals .36 to .48" [9 to 12 mm] lip .28 x .24" [7 x 6 mm]. Epidendrum stevensii has 2 to 3, smaller flowers, sepals .24 to .32" [6 to 8 mm] long, acute floral segments, with the lip triangular, narrowed above the middle, the apex acute. Epidendrum ramosum has consistently shorter « 2" [<< 5 cm] wider leaves up to .6" [15 mm], 2 to 3 flowers with relatively larger sepals .04" [1 mm] long, the lip constricted below the middle, and the deep nectary without forming a prominent vesicle. Epidendrum veraguasense Hágsater from Panama, has 2 to 3, large, white fowers, a larger lip that is .32 x .24" [8 x 6 mm] constricted above the middle, and the nectary only penetrates half the ovary and forms a prominent vesicle behind the perianth." Hagsater etal 2007


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ;*Beih. Bot. Centralbl., Abt. 36(2): 404. 1918; The Genus Epidendrum Ames 1936; AOS Bulletin Vol 75 No 11 2006 photo fide; Icones Orchidacearum 3 Plate 325 Hagsater 1999 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 3 Plate 341 Hagsater 1999 see recognition section; Manual de las Plantas de Costa Rica Vol 3 Hammel, Grayum, Herrera and Zamora 2003; Icones Orchidacearum 9 Plate 948 Hagsater 2007 drawing fide;