Epidendrum miserum Lindl. 1841 GROUP Kalopternix SUBGROUP Serpens

Plant and flowers

Photos by © Eric Hunt, plant grown by Hanging Gardens


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


Common Name The Insignificant Epidendrum

Flower Size 1/2" [1.2 cm]

Found in Jalisco, Michoacan, Morelos and Oaxaca states of Mexico as a mini-miniature, cool growing, mat-forming epiphyte at elevations of 1300 to 2000 meters with slightly compressed, ovoid, clustered, gray pseudobulbs enveloped basally by a few scarious sheaths and usually carrying three, thin, gray-green, linear-lanceolate, articulate to the base leaves which are deciduous during flowering, that blooms in the fall, winter and earlier spring on a terminal, short, basally enveloped by scarious bracts, .22 to .32" [5.5 to 8 mm] long, 1 to 6 flowered inflorescence with triangular, acuminate floral bracts and carrying generally resupinate, slightly scented flowers.

Differs from the similar E manarae by the larger pseudbulbs and the 3 leaves and the different lip.

"Epidendrum miserum is part of GROUP Kalopternix SUBGROUP Serpens characterized by the reduced rhizomatous, aggregate pseudobulbous stems with one or few fleshy-coriaceous leaves, and an apical, sessile inflorescence without spathacecous bracts, carrying compact, star-shaped flowers, often burgundy red in color, lip entire, more or less cordiform. The species has numerous small, aggregate pseudobulbs, leafless when in flower; the flower is somewhat similar to that of E. galeottianum (the Mexican species of the GROUP Anceps, and was indeed compared by Lindley with E. musciferum, the Colombian species of the group); greenish dotted with burgundy red, fleshy, with the apicallobes rounded and the margins entire. In the wild the plants are usually discovered when climbing a shrubby oak for something else, and realizing that there is something bulky under your hand, thicker than the rest of the oak branch. During the early rainy season the plants are easier to distinguish due to the fresh, grayish-green leaves. The only other small species of the genus with pseudobulbs in Mexico is E. microcharis Rchb f which has non-deciduous, coriaceous leaves and an erose-dentate lip; E. microcharis dwells in wet, high-altitude evergreen cloud forest." Hagsater etal 2002

Synonyms Epidendrum pulchellum A.Rich. & Galeotti 1845; Hormidium miserum Benth. & Hook. f. ex Hemsl. 1884;

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Miniature Orchids Northen 1980 photos fide; Flora Novo-Galaciana Vol 16 McVaugh 1985; Icones Orchidacearum 5 & 6 Plate 576 Hagsater, Soto 2002 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 5 & 6 Plate 577 Hagsater, Soto 2002 drawing fide; Orquideas del Estado de Morelos ORQUÍDEA (MÉX.) VOLUMEN 16 NÚMERO ÚNICO enero 2002 drawing/photo fide; Orchids of Mexico Hagsater, Soto, Salazar, Jimenez, Lopez and Dressler 2005 photo ok; Miniature Orchids, A Compendium Parsons and Gerritson 2013 photo fide; Algunas Orquideas de Mexico Tomo 1 Suarez 2013 photo fide