Epidendrum fruticosum Pav. ex Lindl. 1831 GROUP Fruticosum

Photo by Kerremans and the Epidendra Website


Photo by Moises Behar courtesy of Dalton Holland Baptista and the Orchidstudium Website


TYPE Drawing by © Jimenez, Hágsater & E.Santiago and The AMO Herbario Website

Partial shadeCool FallWinter

Common Name or Meaning The Bushy Epidendrum [refers to the branching, bush-like habit]

Flower Size .6" [1.5 cm]

Found in Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua at elevations of 1000 to 1900 meters as a small to giant sized, cool growing epiphyte with branching, cane-like, terete, thin, straight, ascending, getting smaller towards the apical branches stems enveloped by tubular, scarious, becoming fibrous with time sheaths and carrying 2 to 3, towards the apex of the stem, suberect, articulate, distichous, coriaceous, oblong-elliptic to narrowly lanceolate, acute to subobtuse, spreading leaves that blooms in the fall to winter on a terminal, racemose, arching-nutant, thin, short, densely few [3 to 9] flowered, slightly zigzag inflorescence with 1 to 2, linear-lanceolate, acuminate, amplexicaul bracts and prominent, longer than the ovary, linear-lanceolate, acuminate, amplexicaule floral bracts and carrying simultaneously opening, non-fragrant flowers.

"Epidendrum fruticosum belongs to the GROUP Fruticosum characterized by the plants with caespitose to creeping habit with thin stems, subcoriaceous leaves, racemose, few-f1owered inflorescence, and greenish to purple tinged flowers with the disc of the lip fleshy thickened with 3 rounded keels. The species is recognized by the relatively wide leaves, .4 to 1.3" [1 to 3 cm] wide, greenish yellow to intense wine-purple f1owers with widely spreading floral segments, apex rounded, widely oblanceolate petals, .128 to .192" [3.2 to 4.8 mm] wide, and the reniform lip, the disc with a thickened f1eshy 5-lobed structure. Epidendrum eustirum Ames, F.T.Hubb. & C.Schweinf. has a similarily thickened disc on the lip, but the plant has a caespitose, unbranched habit, relatively narrow leaves .16 to .68" [4 to 17 mm] wide, the green f1owers, narrow, oblanceolate pelals .48 to .6" [1.2 to 1.5 mm] wide. The species is only superficially similar to Epidendrum arbuscula Lindl. which instead of a bush-like habit has successive lateral growths with roots at the base of each new stem, sturdier stems and larger leaves and a 3-lobed lip. Epidendrum propinquum A.Rich. & Galeotti has a clearly bush-like habit, the stems much branched, narrowly elliptic, acute, leaves up to .68" [1.7 cm] wide, greenish-yellow f1owers sometimes tinged purple, the margins of the floral segments revolute, oblanceolate-spatulate petals .6 to 1" [1.5 to 2.5 mm] wide, and the lip ovate-cordiform to triangular-cordiform." Hagsater etal 2008

Synonyms Epidendrum fastigiatum Ruiz & Pav. ex Rchb.f. 1856; Epidendrum lucidum Schltr. 1918; Epidendrum viejoi Rchb.f. 1855

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; *Bonplandia 3: 220. Rchb.f 1855 as E viejii; Bonplandia Rchb.f 1856; Xenia Orchidaceae Rchb.f 1854 as E viejii drawing fide; Las Orquedias De El Salvador Vol 1 Hamer 1974 as E viejii drawing/photo fide; Orquídea (Mexico City). 7(4): 1980 as E lucidum; Las Orquedias de El Salvador Vol 3 Hamer 1981 as E viejiidrawing fide; Icones Tropicarum Planetarum Plate 743 Hamer 1982 as E viejii drawing fide; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum plate 712 Dodson 1982 as E viejii see notes; Selbyana Vol 10 Orchids of Central America Hamer 1988 as E viejii drawing fide; Guatemala Y Sus Orquideas Behar & Tinschert 1998 as E viejii photo fide; Icones Orchidacearum Vol 11 Plate 1126 Hagsater & Sanchez 2008 drawing fide; Icones Orchidacearum 13 Plate 1329 Hagsater & Santiago 2010 See recognition section; Orchid Genera and Species in Guatemala Archila, Szlachchetko, Chiron, Lipinska, Mystkowska and Bertolini 2018