Epidendrum microcapitellatum Hágsater, Medina TR & E santiago 2018 GROUP Capitellatum

TYPE photo

TYPE LCDP © by R. Medina & A. Cisneros/TYPE Photo © R Medina and The AMO Herbario Website

Part shade Cold LATE Spring

Common Name The Smallest Capitellatum Epidendrum [refers to the calli on the lip]

Flower Size .12" [3 mm]

Found in the department of Putumayo of Colombia, on the eastern slope of the Cordillera Oriental of the Andes, at elevations around 2200 meters as a mini-miniature sized, cold, growing epiphyte with simple, cane-like, laterally compressed, somewhat ancipitose, erect, producing a new stem from a sub-apical node of the old stem; completely covered by the imbricated lea f sheaths and carrying 6 to 7, distributed throughout the stem, alternate, coriaceous, articulate, unequal in size, often leaves on one side of the stem longer than those on the opposite side, apical leaf much reduced, green on the ventral side, dorsally tinged red; leaf sheaths imbricated, somewhat laterally compressed, ancipitose, striated when dry; blade proportion 2-3:1 (length:width) ovate-elliptic, apex unequally narrowly bilobed, apical margin tinged red, crenulate, spreading leaves that blooms in the late spring on a terminal, without a spathe, from the mature stem, sessile, .2 to .4" [0.5 to 1.0 cm] long, capitate, sub-globose, densely successivlely 2 to 3, 4 to 6 flowered inflorescence subtended by a single leaf-like conduplicate bract, (folded, i.e. in conduplicate position), dorsally carinate, the apex of the dorsal keel aristate, sub-apical margin somewhat dentate with prominent, about as long as the ovary, ovate, acute to acuminate, more or less dorsally keeled, amplexicaul floral bracts and carrying resupinate, green flowers with the sepals and petals dorsally dotted red; anther dark violet with a green Y-shaped vertical band in front; fragrance not registered.

"Epidendrum microcapitellatum belongs to the GROUP Capitellatum which is characterized by the erect, succulent stems usually with non-articulate leaves, with a spherical head of fleshy greenish flowers, and without any spathaceous bract. The species is recognized by the very small plant, stems 1.2 to 4" [3 to 10 cm] tall, ovate-elliptic leaves .2 to .56" x .16 to .32" [0.5 to 1.4 x 0.4 to 0.8 cm], sepals .92 to 1" [2.3 to 2.5 mm] long, and the 3-lobed lip, the lateral lobes very small. Epidendrum isaucapitellatum Hágsater & E.Santiago has relatively tall plants, 6.4 to 9.2" [16 to 23 cm] tall, ovate-elliptic leaves, .48 to 2.2" x .4 to .88" [1.2 to 5.5 x 1.0 to 2.2 cm], proportion 2.5:1 (length:width), the leaves slightly imbricating, so that only part of the sheath is visible; the lateral sepals ovate-elliptic, .272 to .296" [6.8 to 7.4 mm] long, petals oblanceolate, and the entire reniform lip. Epidendrum capitellatum is vegetatively very similar but has narrower leaves .2 to .64" [0.5 to 1.6 cm] wide, proportion 3:1 (length:width), more spaced along the stems, the sheath and a part of the stem clearly visible, lateral sepals elliptic, and the lip is 3-lobed, the lateral lobes larger than the mid-lobe. Epidendrum pterogastrium Hágsater has shorter plants 4" [10 cm] tall, leaves .44 to 1.2" X .28 to .4" [1.1 to 3.0 x 0.7 to 1.0 cm], elliptic sepals .232" [5.8 mm] long and the reniform lip has an erose margin. Epidendrum rhombicapitellatum Hágsater & Dodson has very short plants 2" [5 cm] tall, sepals .148 to .16" [3.7 to 4 mm] long, and the distinctly 3-lobed lip has a rhombic mid-lobe, column is .08" [2 mm] long with the apex arching upwards." Hagsater etal 2018


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; *Icones Orchidacearum 16[2] Plate 1684 Hagsater & Sanchez 2018 LCDP/photo fide; ; Icones Orchidacearum 18(2) Plate 1851 Hagsater & Jimenez 2021