Epidendrum natator Hagsater 2021 GROUP Alpicolum SUBGROUP Alpicolum

LCDP Photo by E Hagsater & A. Cisneros and Icones Orchidacearum 18(2) Plate 1885 Hagsater & J Duarte 2021

Common Name The Swimmer Epidendrum

Flower Size .3" [7.5 mm]

Found in San Martin and Cusco departments of Peru in relicts of dense, high altitude Andean forest no more than 24 feet [6 m] tall, in very wet conditions at elevations of 1600 to 2450 meters as a small to medium sized, cool to cold growing, sympodial, caespitose epiphyte with simple, canelike, laterally compressed, straight stems produced from a creeping rhizome and carrying 3 to 4, distributed throughout the apical 2/3 of the stem, linear-lanceolate, acute, with tubular, ancipitose, minuterly striate leaf sheath bases, medium green, smooth, margin entire leaves that blooms in the winter, spring and summer on a terminal, arising through tubular, conduplicate, ancipitose, acute, imbricating spathes, flowering only once, slightly longer than the apical leaf; peduncle 1.4 to 2.88" [3.5 to 7.2 cm] long, terete, thin, nearly totally covered by the spathes, racemose, arching, fox tail-like, relatively laxly, opening from the apex towards the base, 4 to 9.2" [10 to 23 cm] long, successively, eventually all open at once, 25 to 60 flowered inflorescence with , half as long as the ovary, linear-lanceolate, acuminate to acute floral bracts and carrying resupinate flowers.

"Epidendrum natator belongs to the GROUP Alpicolum SUBGROUP Alpicolum, which is characterized by the sympodial habit, the apical, racemose inflorescence subtended by 1-2 oblong, ancipitose, spathaceous bracts, the flowers fleshy, petals narrow to filiform, and the lip united to the column, 3-lobed, mid-lobe usually triangular, the lip always oriented toward the rachis apex. The species is recognized by the relatively laxflowered, open raceme, the apical flowers opening first, the sepals .16 to .28" [4.0 to 5.2 mm] long, lateral sepals and petals out-stretched, as the arms of a swimmer in butterfly stroke, with the outstretched lateral sepals similar to the legs, and column with two prominent quadrate wings at the apex on the sides. Epidendrum armeniacum Lindl. has short plants with a fox-tail inflorescence, minute flowers, the basal flowers opening first, sepals .76 to .92" [1.9 to 2.3 mm] long, very long, partly spreading, linear floral bracts which are longer than the flowers, and prominent calli which appear like two upright wings, within the upright lateral lobes of the lip; the callus platform is apically truncate and shallowly 3-lobed. Epidendrum alopecurum Schltr. also has smaller flowers, the sepals are .12 to .14" [3.0 to 3.5 mm] long, the segments proportionately narrower, and the platform of the callus is flat in natural position, entire, concave, ending in a triangular mid-lobe which continues as a central keel on the mid-lobe of the lip. Epidendrum pucuoënse Hágsater & Dodson has similar size flower, sepals .152 to .184" [3.8 to 4.6 mm] long, the petals parallel to the column, the lateral lobes of the lip are orbicular, and the clinandrium-hood is long, funnel-shaped and emarginate, the margin entire. Epidendrum tequendamae F.Lehm. & Kraenzl. is similar but the lateral sepals are only partly spreading, the flowers about twice as large, sepals .28 to .34" [7.0 to 8.5 mm] long; the flowers start opening from the middle of the raceme towards the base and apex and are rapidly all open." Hagsater etal 2021


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; * Icones Orchidacearum 18(2) Plate 1885 Hagsater & Jimenez 2021 LCDP Photo/photo fide;