Epidendrum morochoi Hagsater 2019 GROUP Blepharistes

TYPE photo

LCDP Photo E. Hágsater & A. Cisneros/TYPE Photo by B. Perkins and The AMO Herbario Website

Common Name Morocho's Epidendrum [In honor of Servando Morocho (1969-) who heads the Orchidarium of the Universidad de Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador, who introduced us to this species]

Flower Size .6" [1.5 cm]

Found in Ecuador apparently endemic and common on the western slopes of the Cordillera Occidental of the Andes in the basin of Loja and neighboring Peru, in dry scrub forest sometimes with cacti at elevations of 320 to 2000 meters as a large to giant sized, hot to cool growing epiphyte with thickened, fusiform, erect, straight, fluted, yellow-green; covered when young by non-foliar, tubular, scarious sheaths and carrying 1 to 2, apical, conduplicate at the base, erect, thick, coriaceous; blade oblong, acute, minutely apiculate, green, margin entire, spreading leaves that blooms in the spring, summer and fall without a spathe, peduncle to 2 x .12" [50 x 0.3 cm] long, terete, provided with tubular, triangular, embracing, acute to slightly acuminate bracts; rachis to 2.4" x .08 to .12" [60 x 0.2 to 0.3 cm], to 48" [120 cm] long, paniculate, producing short, racemes from the apical nodes of mature stems, erect to arching; each raceme 1 to 1.4" [2.5 to 3.5 cm] long, successively to 5, 11 flowered inflorescence with much shorter than the ovary, progressively shorter towards the apex of the raceme, triangular, acuminate, embracing floral bracts and resupinate, cream colored in general flowers with the center of the lip greenish yellow turning pale yellow, column green at the base and cream to the apex; without any apparent fragrance

"Epidendrum morochoi belongs to the GROUP Blepharistes recognized by the caepitose habit, simple fusiform stems, oblong leaves, lacking spathes, erect to nutant inflorescences, producing several short racemes from several nodes of the rachis along the upper half of the inflorescence, lip widely 3- lobed, reniform lip, the mid-lobe sub-quadrate and itself bilobed. The new species is recognized by the erect pseudobulbs, leaves 1 to 2, lanceolate, coriaceous, flowers cream colored in general, center of lip greenish yellow turning pale yellow, column green at the base and cream to the apex, sepals .32 to .36" x .12" [8 to 9 x 3 mm], acute, petals 3.32 x .8" [8.3 x 2 mm], lanceolate-ovate, apex obtuse to rounded, and lip .24 x .6" [6 x 15 mm], slightly cordiform trilobate, mid-lobe with 2 little lobes with margin crenulate, wider than long. It is very similar to Epidendrum polystachyum which has apricot-yellow flowers but has 3 leaves spread out along the apex of the stem; this species is found on the eastern side of the Cordillera Occidental of the Andes, in southern Ecuador in the basin of Malacatos and the Cordillera del Cóndor, and northern Peru. Epidendrum pseudopolystachyum D.E.Benn. & Christenson from central Peru, on the Eastern side of the Andes has short plants, to 8.8" [22 cm] tall, bifoliate with oblong-elliptic leaves and greenish flowers, the petals and the lip transverse, convex, with entire margins, .264 x .52" [6.6 x 13.0 mm], with lateral lobes elliptic, obtuse-redounded, mid-lobe bi-lobulate, lobules sub-orbicular, obtuse-rounded. Epidendrum blepharistes Barker ex Lindl. is widespread from Costa Rica to Bolivia; has 4 to 10 leaves distributed along the upper half of the stem, flowers white to lilac-pink to purple, lip 3-lobed, somewhat convex, the base slightly cordate, apical margin of the lobes deeply dentate; lateral lobes spreading, oblong-dolabriform, oblique; mid-lobe cuneate, retuse, bilobed, nearly as long as the lateral lobes." Hagsater etal 2019


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; * Icones Orchidacearum 17(1) Plate 1742 Hagsater & Jimenez 2019 Drawing/photo fide; Icones Orchidacearum 17(1) Plate 1790 Hagsater & Jimenez 2019 see recognition section;