Epidendrum nelsonii Hágsater 1987 GROUP Arbuscula SUBGROUP Arbuscula

TYPE Drawing by © Jimenez and The AMO Herbaria Website


Common Name Nelson’s Epidendrum [American Orchid Hunter and Collector of the Type species 1900’s]

Flower Size .8” [2 cm]

Found in Mexico and Guatemala at elevations of 1900 to 2700 meters as a medium sized, cold growing epiphyte with simple, new stem arising from the median internode of the previous stem, cane-like, terete, thin straight stems carrying 2 to 4, aggregate towards the apex, alternate, articulate, narrowly elliptic, bilobed, subcoriaceous, smooth, green, margin entire leaves that blooms in the late fall through early spring on a terminal, occuring only once, racemose, arching, peduncle thin, laterally compressed, with 1 to 2, narrowly ovate, acute bracts, dense, successively, most of the flowers open at one time, 10 to 15 flowered inflorescence with very prominent, slightly longer than the ovary, narrowly ovate, acute floral bracts and carrying resupiante, white to pale green or green tinged with brown, weakly, sweetly scented flowers.

"Epidendrum nelsonii belongs to the GROUP Arbuscula SUBGROUP Arbuscula which is characterized by the successive lateral growths produced from the middle of the previous growth, few leaves aggregate towards the apex of the stems, arching, aplcal inflorescence with membranaceous, colorful flowers, the lip bicallose. The species is recognized by the dense inflorescence, small flowers with sepals .44 to .48" [11 to 12 mm] long, short ovaries .36 to .56" [9 to 14 mm ]Iong, and prominent floral bracts, slightly longer than the ovary, flowers white or green tinged brown, slightly sweet scented. It is similar to Epidendrum badium Hágsater which has siightly larger flowers with sepals .56 to .68" [14 to 17 mm] long, the dorsal sepal reflexed, longer ovaries .56 to 1" [14 to 25 mm], and proportionately shorter floral bracts, which are never as long as the ovary. Epidendrum arbusculum Lindl. from the mountains surrounding Guatemala City has still longer sepals .6 to .64" [15 to 16 mm] long, a longer ovary .48 to 1.46" [12to 36 mm] and the proportionately shorter floral bracts half the length of the ovary .24 to .92" [6 to 23 mm. Epidendrum alticola Ames & Correll has even larger flowers. The sepals .6 to .72" [15 to 18 mm] long, a subentire lip formed by 4 semiorbicular lobes and the ovary 1" [25 mm] long, with prominent floral bracts .32 to .92" [8 to 23 mm] long; the lip is snow-white with yellow calli. Hagsater etal 2006


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; *Orquidea [Mexico City] n.s., 10: 342 Hagsater 1987; Icones Orchidacearum 8 Plate 808 Hagsater and Sanchez 2006 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 8 Plate 858 Hagsater 2006 drawing fide; Orchid Genera and Species in Guatemala Archila, Szlachchetko, Chiron, Lipinska, Mystkowska and Bertolini 2018