Epidendrum microcharis Rchb.f. 1870 GROUP Kalopternix SUBGROUP Serpens

Photo by © Moises Behar

Another flower

Photo by © Patricia Harding.


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


Common Name The Insignificant Epidendrum

Flower Size 1.2" [3 cm]

Found in Chiapas state of Mexico in evergreen cloud forests at elevations of 2300 to 3100 meters as a mini-miniature sized, cold growing epiphyte with slightly distant, fusiform to subspheric, finely rugose, often purple pseudobulbs carrying usually 2, apical, somewhat recurved, deeply purple flushed, coriaceous, elliptic-lanceolate, persistent leaves that blooms at any time of the year on a terminal, very short, racemose, 2 to 4 flowered inflorescence arising on a newly maturing pseudobulb with triangular, acuminate floral bracts partially obscured by the leaves and carrying resupinate flowers with a green fragrance.

"Epidendrum microcharis is part of GROUP Kalopternix SUBGROUP Serpens characterized by the aggregate, globose pseudobulbs with fleshy-coriaceous leaves, a sessile inflorescence, and one or few fleshy, compact, star-shaped flowers, often burgundy red in color, lip entire, more or less cordiform. The species is easily recognized by the small, fusiform, finely rugose pseudobulbs, usually with two, coriaceous leaves, with a very short inflorescence bearing 2 to 4 flowers which are basically green, usually heavily dotted with burgundy red, the lip 3-lobed, with the margins deeply erose-dentate, the sepals are .28 to .48" [7 to 12 mm] long. The only somewhat similar species in Mexico is E. miserum Lind., which has thin, deciduous leaves, wrinkled ellipsoid pseudobulbs of a gray color, the flowers being smaller in size, the margins entire and the dorsal sepal just .18 to .2" [4.5 to 5 mm] long. Both species are rather unusual in that the stems are short and thickened into pseudobulbs, the flowers, however, are clearly of Epidendrum, with the slit rostellum and the lip adnate to the column." Hagsater etal 1999

Synonyms Epidendrum delicatissimum Rchb.f. 1876

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; The Genus Epidendrum Ames 1936; Ceiba Vol 5 No 1 L O Williams 1956; Las Orquedias De El Salvador Vol 1 Hamer 1974 drawing/photo fide; Miniature Orchids Northen 1980; Las Orquedias de El Salvador Vol 3 Hamer 1981 drawing fide; Selbyana Vol 10 Orchids of Central America Hamer 1988 drawing fide; Guatemala Y Sus Orquideas Behar & Tinschert 1998 photo fide; Icones Orchidacearum 5&6 Plate 576 Hagsater 1999 drawing fide; Orchids of Mexico Hagsater, Soto, Salazar, Jimenez, Lopez and Dressler 2005 photo fide; Orchid Genera and Species in Guatemala Archila, Szlachchetko, Chiron, Lipinska, Mystkowska and Bertolini 2018