Epidendrum meridense Hagsater & C Jerez 2020 GROUP Nocturnum

LCDP Photo by © C. J. Jerez & A. Cisneros and Icones Orchidacearum 18(1) plate 1822 2020

Common Name The Merida Epidendrum [A state of northwestern Venezuela]

Flower Size 4" [10 cm]

Found in Merida state of Venezuela in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Mérida, northeastern end of the Andes, at elevations of 2000 to 2100 meters as a small to medium szied, cold growing, caespitose epiphyte with , laterally compressed, ancipitose towards the apex stems carrying 4 to 6, all along the apical 2/3rds of the stem, coriaceous, green on both sides, ovate to elliptic, apex bilobed, with an evident dorsal keel leaves that blooms in the summer but most likely much more, peduncle short, inconspicuous, racemose, producing new racemes from the same peduncle through time and thus becoming pluri-racemose; peduncle inconspicuous, successively single flowered inflorescence with very small, triangular, acuminate, embracing, shorter than the ovary floral bractsand carrying resupinate, nocturnally fragrant flowers.

"Epidendrum meridense belongs to the GROUP Nocturnum which is characterized by the sympodial, caespitose plants, short, racemose or pluri-racemose inflorescence, lacking spathes, large, star-shaped flowers with similar sepals and petals, and the lip mostly deeply 3-lobed with entire margins. The new species has small sized plants, stems 9.6 to 10.8" [24 to 27 cm] long, 4 to 6 leaves .6 to 6.4" x .6 to 2.4" [1.5 to 16.0 x 1.5 to 6.0 cm], ovate to elliptic, ovary 3 to 4.2" [75 to 105 mm] long, sepals .168 to .288" [42 to 72 mm] long, and the lip comparatively wide, 1.28 to 2.24" x 1.04" [31 to 56 x 26 mm], with the mid-lobe only slightly longer than the lateral lobes, the lip white with the apexes green. Epidendrum tumuc-humaciense has taller stems to 42" [105 cm] high with up to 27 leaves, 1.2 to 3.68" x .48 to 1.12" [3.0 to 9.2 x 1.2 to 2.8 cm], medium green (some plants completely wine red), a long ovary usually 3.2 to 4/2" [80 to 110 mm] long, and sepals varying greatly, 1.92 to 3.24" x .12 to .2" [48 to 81 x 3 to 5 mm]. Epidendrum spruceanum Lindl. described from the “Barra do Rio Negro”, Amazonas, occurs in the Amazon basin of Brazil and Peru below 200 meters altitude; it is recognized by its relatively longer and narrower leaves, 3.2 to 7" x .08 to .18" 3 [8.0 to 17.5 x 2.0 to 4.5 cm], shorter ovaries, 1.48 to 1.8" [37 to 45 mm] long, sepals 1.98 to 2.8" [48 to 70 mm] long, lateral lobes of the lip hemi-lanceolate, apex narrowly rounded, and the body of the capsule centered (we have used here only measurements of the type specimens: R. Spruce 1666). Epidendrum carpophorum Barb.Rodr. has stems 12" [30 cm] tall, stems terete, and smaller flowers, sepals 1.6 to 1.68" [40 to 41 mm] long, capsule 5.28" [132 mm] long as per the type illustration." Hagsater & Cisneros 2020


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; * Icones Orchidacearum 18(1) plate 1822 Hagsater & Santiago 2020 photos fide;