Epidendrum ophidion Dodson & R.Vásquez 1989 GROUP Bicirrhatum

Photo by © Walter Teague


Common Name The Snake-Like Epidendrum [refers to the similarity of the apical lobes of the lip to the fangs of a viper]

Flower Size .6" [1.5 cm]

Found in Bolivia in montane cloud forests at elevations of 1600 to 1800 meters as a medium sized, cool growing terrestrial with terete, erect, cane-like stems enveloped by triangular sheaths and carrying distichous, narrowly elliptical, attenuate apically, suberect, clear green leaves that blooms in the late spring and early summer on an apical, terminal, 2.4" [6 cm] long, sub-capitate, densely many flowered inflorescence with a tubular, adpressed bract and narrowly triangular floral bracts that are as long as the ovary and carrying non-resupinate flowers.

"E. ophidion belongs to the GROUP Bicirrhatum , a small group of species which has appeared recently and is characterized by the caespitose habit, simple, leafy, short stems, compact, nodding inflorescence, conspicuous bracts about as long as the ovary, numerous fleshy, green and/or white flowers, with the mid-lobe deeply bilobulate, the lobules sometimes cirrate; the pollinia are thin, and unequal, the inner pair smaller, without being of the bird-wing-type. The species has successive, yellow flowers with three purple lines on disc, pustulate sepals .24 to .32" [6 to 8 mm] long, and dolabriform lateral lobes with a crenulate margin. Epidendrum bicirrhatum D.E. Benn. & Christenson from northern Peru has pale cream-orange flowers with base of the sepals and petals green, tips of the keels of the lip lavender, flowers are similarly sized, sepals being .184 to .208" [4.6 to 5.2 mm] long, and lip has denticulate margins on sub-orbicular lateral lobes, and cirrate lobules on mid-lobe. Epidendrum enantilobum has green to cream-colored flowers, the lip and column white, sepals .16 to .2" [4 to 5 mm] long sepals, lateral lobes falcate-oblong, mid-lobe forming two opposite narrow ciliate lobes. Epidendrum xelidonourum has very pale greenish white to ochre flowers, base of the sepals, petals and column green, column and lip white, lateral lobes of the lip ¼ circle, mid-lobe basal half sub-rectangular, slightly slimmer at the middle, apical half bilobed, lobes linear triangular, acuminate, arching-divaricate, reminiscent of the tail of barn swallows. Epidendrum brachyblastum has sepals, .24 to .272" [6 to 6.8 mm] long, narrow hemi-ovate lateral lobes of the lip, and deep green flowers with lip and apical half of the column snow white. Epidendrum hugomedinae Hágsater has snow-white flowers with keels of the lip tinged violet and the obcuneate mid-lobe formed by two, rounded, somewhat divergent, lobes. Epidendrum tiwinzaënse Hágsater & Dodson has green flowers with a white lip and apical half of column, and sepals some .28" [7 mm] long, lip terminating in a pair of cirrate lobes." Adapted from E enantilobum Icones plate 1616 Hagsater etal 2018


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum Series II Orchids of Bolivia plate 0331 Dodson & Vasquez 1989 drawing fide; Orchids of Bolivia Vol II Laelinae Vasquez & Ibisch 2004 drawing/photo fide; Icones Orchidacearum 7 Plate 713 Hagsater and Sanchez 2004 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 7 Plate 745 Hagsater and Sanchez 2004 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 7 Plate 795 Hagsater and Sanchez 2004 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 16(1) plate 1616 Hagsater etal 2018 recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 16[1} Plate 1666 Hagsater & Sanchez 2018 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 16[2] Plate 1690 Hagsater & Sanchez 2018 see recognition section;