Epidendrum occidentale (Christenson) Hágsater & E.Santiago 2010 GROUP Hemiscleria

TYPE Drawing by © Jimenez and The AMO Herbaria Website


Common Name The Western Epidendrum [in reference to the relative westerly range of the species in southern Ecuador, in comparison to E. hemiscleria which is found mostly east of Marańón river in Peru, but also west of it]

Flower Size 1.2” [3 cm]

Found in Loja province of Ecuador in the extreme south of the country on the border with Peru at elevations of 3300 to 3400 meters as a large sized, cold growing epiphyte with simple, cane-like, terete, arching-pendent stems carrying 10 to 18, all along the apical 2/3’s of the stem, alternate, articulate, suberect, coriaceous, rigid, unequal in size, the basal and apical leaves are shorter, oblong-lanceolate, rounded, minutely apiculate, margin crenulate leaves that blooms in the late spring and summer on a terminal, racemose, without a spathe, sub-globose, peduncle terete, thick, straight, erect to arching, bright red, a single small, widely triangular, acuminate, median bract, rachis thickened, dense, erect, to rarely arching, produced in a fascile around the thickened rachis, simultaneously 30 to 40 flowered inflorescence with very small, widely triangular, acute, amplexicaul floral bracts and carrying resupinate, very fleshy, the segments rigid, hard, brilliant yellow to orange flowers.

”Epidendrum occidentalis belongs to the GROUP Hemiscleria which is characterized by the caespitose habit, simple stems, with numerous, oblong-lanceolate leaves sub-parallel to the stem, an apical inflorescence with a strong peduncle and very thick rachis with, racemose, sub-globose, dense, produced in a fascicle around the rachis, flowers fleshy, hard, bright orange-yellow. The species is recognized by the arching-pendent stems, the inflorescence generally erect, the peduncle bare, without spathaceous bracts, is brilliant red, lateral sepals elliptic, .3" [7.5 mm] long, the mid-lobe of the lip entire, not apically emarginate, the lateral lobes sub-quadrate, and the disc of the lip is only .08" [2 mm] wide, short, and low, oblong-rectangular keels at the base of the lip with a circular, fleshy hump in front of the keels. Epidendrum hemiscleria Rchb.f. has erect stems, the peduncle of the inflorescence dark purple, with a pair of short, tubular, spathaceous bracts at the base; the lateral sepals widely triangular, .2 to .268" [5 to 6.7 mm] long, the disc of the lip with 3 narrow, parallel keels, and the lateral lobes sub-orbicular, the apex short-emarginate. Christenson described the subspecies as having larger plants, with the inflorescence erect, however, we have found that both species are variable in these features.” Hagsater etal 2010

Synonyms Epidendrum hemiscleria Rchb. f. subsp. occidentalis Christenson 2005.

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI Icones Orchidacearum 13 Plate 1338 Hagsater & Dodson 2010 See Recognition section; * Icones Orchidacearum 13 Plate 1363 Hagsater & Dodson 2010 drawing fide;