Epidendrum melistagoides Hágsater & L.Sánchez 2008 GROUP Difforme

TYPE Drawing by © Jimenez and The AMO Herbaria Website

Common Name The E melistagum Like Epidendrum

Flower Size 1.6” [4 cm]

Found in Oaxaca and Chiapas states of Mexico in high jungle and oak forests at elevations of 370 to 2350 meters as a miniature to medium sized, hot to cold growing epiphyte with simple, cane-like somewhat laterally compressed, slightly flexuous stems carrying 5 to 12, all along the stem, ovate-elliptic, coriaceous, retuse to unequally bilobed, margin spreading, entire leaves that blooms in the fall through winter on a terminal, on a mature stem, peduncle inconspicuous, subumbellate, dense, simultaneously 5 to 30 flowered inflorescence with 1/2 the length of the ovary, obovate, acute, conduplicate floral bracts and carrying resupinate, bright green flowers with strongly fragrant that diurnally smell sweet and nocturnally smell of sweaty socks.

Similar to E melistagum with the same fragrance but it has reniform lip with the margins erose-crenulate, and a single, platform like callus on the lip.

" Epidendrum melistagoides belongs to the GROUP Difforme which is characterized by the caespitose, sympodial plants, fleshy, pale green to glaucous leaves, apical inflorescence, sessile, rarely with a short peduncle, single flowered to corymbose, wilhout spathaceous bracts, fleshy, green to yellowish-green rarely white flowers. The species can be recognized by the somewhat laterally compressed stems, 5 to 30 simultaneous, green flowers with a nocturnal, intense, rancid fragrance, reiminiscent of sweaty shoes, diurnal of over-ripened tropical fruit, lip 3-lobed, lateral lobes ovate-elliptic, margin minutely dentate, midlobe transversely rectangular, apex mucronate to emarginate, rarely forming two semiorbicular lobes, calli formed from a prominent, basal platform, divided at the apex to form two divergent, triangular, acute calli; disc of tne lip with a drop of nectar in front of lhe calli . Similar to Epidendrum melistagum Hágsater which has both the same drop of nectar and fragrances, but is distinguished by the reniform lip with the margins erose-crenulate, and a single platform-like callus. Epidendrum chlorocorymbos Schltr. has terete stems, the lateral lobes of the lip with an entire margin, completely separate subglobose calli, and the disc of the lip without any nectar; the flowers are fragrant of freshly leavened bread." Hagsater etal 2008


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; * Icones Orchidacearum 11 Plate 1141 Hagsater & Sanchez 2008 drawing fide; Orchid Genera and Species in Guatemala Archila, Szlachchetko, Chiron, Lipinska, Mystkowska and Bertolini 2018