Epidendrum melistagum Hágsater 1988 GROUP Difforme

Photo by © Glen Ladiner

TYPE Drawing

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

to to MID

Common Name The Sweet Scented Epidendrum

Flower Size 1.6" [4 cm]

Found in southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras as a reed-stem epiphyte in tropical semi-deciduous forests, mountain rain forests and cloud forests often in ravines at elevations of 500 to 1800 meters with simple, reed-like, thick, laterally compressed stems with tubular, laterally compressed, smooth sheaths that give rise to the lanceolate ovate to elliptic, dorsally keeled leaves that are unequally bi-lobed at the apex and was determined to be a separate species from Epidendrum difforme in 1988. The inflorescence is a terminal umbell of 10 to 25 flowers occuring from the summer to mid fall. The resupinate flowers open simultaneously and have a lemon scent in the morning and at evening have a stronger more rancid smell.

Epidendrum melistagum is part of the GROUP Difforme characterized by the caespitose, sympodial plants, fleshy, pale green to glaucous leaves, apical inflorescence, sessile, rarely with a short peduncle, one-flowered to many-flowered, and then corymbose, without spathaceous bracts, fleshy, green to yellowish-green rarely white flowers. The species is similar to E melistagoides with the same scent but E melistagum has a reniform lip with a drop of nectar on the disc of the lip, the margins erose-crenulate, and a single, platform like callus and is smqaller overall than E melistagoides which also has a basally platform like callus that is divided into two divergent triangular, acute calli.

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Orquídea (Mexico City), n.s., 11: 28 Hagsater 1988 drawing/photo fide; Icones Orchidacearum I Plate 35 Hagsater and Salazar 1990 drawing ok; Icones Orchidacearum 5-6 Plate 570 Hagsater and Salazar 2002 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum Vol 11 Plate 1141 Hagsater & Sanchez 2008 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum Part 12 Plate 1223 Hagsater 2009 see recognition section; Las Orquideas del Peru Izerskyy & Bezverhov 2011 photo fide; Guia de Orquideas de Chiapas Carlos Rommel Beutelspacher Baigts 2013 photo fide; Icones Orchidacearum 15 [2] Plate 1584 Hagsater & Sanchez 2016 see recognition section; Orchid Genera and Species in Guatemala Archila, Szlachchetko, Chiron, Lipinska, Mystkowska and Bertolini 2018