Epidendrum montigena Ridl. ex Oliv. 1887 GROUP Elleanthoides SUBGROUP Rhombochilum

Photo by Christian Hu


Photo by G C K Dunsterville


Drawing by R Jimenez and The AMO Herbario Website

Common Name The Montane Epidendrum

Flower Size .4 to .6" [1 to 1.5 cm]

Found in Venezuela in open savannah-like tepui formations at elevations of 2400 to 3000 meters as a medium to large sized, cold growing terrestrial or lithophyte with erect, canelike branching above, terete, straight stems carrying 15 or more on the main stem, 6-to 10 on the shorter branches, distributed throughout the stems, articulate, distichous, sub-coriaceous, spreading, similar in size and shape, green with the margin reddish, upper-side lustrous; sheaths tubular, rugose, striated, reddish, blade oblong, apex rounded, apiculate, apical margin denticulate, somewhat revolute in herbarium specimens leaves that blooms at any time of the year on a terminal, without a spathe, peduncle .38 to .92" [.95 to 2.3 cm] long, thin at base, gradually wider towards the apex, laterally compressed, somewhat ancipitose, reddish, the base with a bract 3 to 7 mm long, tubular, small, amplexicaul, apex sub-acute, 1.2 to 3.4" [3 to 9 cm] long overall, apical, flowering only once, nutant, rachis racemose to paniculate, straight, reddish, successively to several, 10 to 21 flowered inflorescence with prominent, slightly shorter than to as long as the ovary, same color as the rachis, ovate, acute, embracing, rigid, disposed at a right angle with respect to the rachis floral bracts and carrying small, resupinate flowers.

"Epidendrum montigena is part of GROUP Elleanthoides SUBGROUP Rhombochilum recognized by the branching habit, small fleshy leaves and a short 3 to 6 flowered, nutant inflorescence on a short thick peduncle. The species is recognized by the oblong leaves with rounded apex, nutant inflorescence, rachis and peduncle reddish, racemose to paniculate, flowers successive, pink, lateral sepals .28 to .36" [7 to 9 mm] long, petals oblong-elliptic, apical margin (along apical half) dentate, lip widely rhombic in outline, with a pair of narrow, parallel calli which converge into a thin, short mid-rib. Epidendrum imthurnii Ridl. has much narrower leaves, linear-lanceolate, flowers ochre yellow or greenish yellow, sepals .22 to .24" [5.5 to 6.0 mm] long, petals linear, margin entire, lip ovate, apex acute. Epidendrum alsum Ridl. has ovate leaves, inflorescence nutant with the rachis and peduncle green, flowers yellow, sepals .32 to .36" [8 to 9 mm] long, petals narrowly oblanceolate, margin entire, lip clearly 3-lobed." Hagsater etal 2018


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 6: 70 Schlechter 1919; Die Orchideen 3 Auflage Bd 1 Sonderabdruck aus Schlechter Lieferung 9 513 - 576 Brieger, Maatsch and Senghas 1977; Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana Vol 7 Steyermark, Berry, Yatskievych and Holst 2003; Icones Orchidacearum 16[1] Plate 1602 Hagsater & Santiago 2018 See recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 16[1] Plate 1628 Hagsater & Santiago 2018 See recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 16[1] 1644 Hagsater etal. 2018 drawing/photo fide; Icones Orchidacearum 16[1} Plate 1652 Hagsater & Sanchez 2018 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 16[1] Plate 1664 Hagsater & Sanchez 2018 See recognition section;