Epidendrum laxicaule D.E.Benn. & Christenson 1998 GROUP Arbuscula SUBGROUP Incomptum

Plant and Flowers

Photos by © R E Repasky and The Atrium Website

TYPE Drawing

TYPE drawing by © Alcantara and The Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Jany Renz Herbaria Website

Part ShadeCool Winter Spring Summer Fall

Common Name The Lax Stem Epidendrum

Flower Size 1.6" [4cm]

Found in Peru in montane rain forests at elevations of 1050 meters as a large sized, cool growing epiphyte with pendent, new growths produced from towards the apex of the previous, carrying towards the apex of the newest growth, linear, subterete, coriaceous, convex below lightly furrowed above, reniform in cross-section leaves that blooms at most any time of the year [December in cultivation] on a terminal, pendent, loosely 3 to 4 flowered inflorescence with ovate, acuminate, minute floral bracts.

"Epidendrum laxicaule D.E.Benn. & Christenson belongs to the GROUP Arbuscula SUBGROUP Incomptum which is characterized by the pendent pants, branching, stems laterally compressed to ancipitose, wide, leaves comparatively short, with short, racemose, few-flowered inflorescences, flowers large, lip with very prominent ribs. E laxicaule is very similar to Epidendrum megalopentadactylum , but the leaves are linear, semi-terete, and the flowers are smaller and green, sepals 1.04 to 1.48" [26 to 32 mm] long, and lateral ridges of the lip are divided into 3 to 4 ridges on each side of the mid-ridge. The plants at first sight, are reminiscent of a very long stem of the Christmas Cactus, Schlumbergera sp. with complanate stems. Epidendrum megalopentadactylum has large, pendant plants, with ancipitose stems, and reclining, distichous, fleshy, narrowly lanceolate leaves, flowers large, sepals 1.48 to 1.6" [37 to 40 mm] long, star-shaped, white, sepals faintly tinged pink, petals greenish white, lip with a very prominent 5-ribbed callus, reminiscent of a closed fist of 5 bulging fingers. There is a third species with similar vegetative habit, but presently only known from a single digital photo provided by Ricardo Fernández in 2014." Hagsater etal 2018.


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; *Icones Orchidacearum Peruviarum Plate 462 Bennett & Christenson 1998 Drawing fide; LANKESTERIANA 14(1) 2014 herbarium specimen; Icones Orchidacearum 16[1} Plate 1645 Hagsater & Sanchez 2018 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 16[2] Plate 1683 Hagsater & Sanchez 2018 see recognition section;