Epidendrum opiranthizon Hágsater & Dodson 1993 GROUP Amblostoma SUBGROUP Amblostomioides

Drawing by © Hagsater and The AMO Herbaria Website


Common Name The Backwards Flowering Epidendrum [refers to this orchids habit of the most apical flowers opening first and then back to the base]

Flower Size .4” [1 cm]

Found in southeastern Ecuador in the province of Morona-Santiago at elevations of 800 to 1500 meters as a miniature to medium sized, warm to cool growing, caespitose epiphyte with simple, thin, erect, terete, straight, new stems arise from the basal node of the previous stem carrying 3 to 5, all along the apical third of the stem, narrowly elliptic, subacute, margin entire leaves that blooms in the late summer and early fall on a terminal, on a mature stem, without a spathe, occuring only once, racemose, suberect to arching, peduncle 1.12” [2.8 cm] long, terete, thin, bractless, rachis terete, thin, long, somewhat sinuous towards the apex, 3.2 to 8.4” [8 to 21 cm] long overall, successively few, 21 to 30 flowered inflorescence with about half as long as the ovary, triangular, acute floral bracts and carrying non-resupinate flowers that open from the apex first down to the base of the rachis with the sepals and petals yellow green and the lip whitish pink.

" Epidendrum opiranthizon belongs to the GROUP Amblostoma SUBGROUP Amblostomioides characterized by the caespitose habit, simple, fusiform thickened stems, lack of a spathaceous bract and small flowers. The species can be recognized by the racemose inflorescence, small, non-resupinate flowers opening from the apex of the raceme backward, The lip entire, hexagonal-subrhombic; bicallose, the calli prominent, laminar, fleshy, elongate, reaching the middle of the lip, with a prominent, intermediate keel, as long as the calli and rounded at the end. Superficially the plant looks like Epidendrum macrum Dressler, but in that species the lip is deeply 3-lobed, the ovary pubescent and the flowers open simultaneously. Epidendrum roncanum Dodson & R Vásquez has a paniculate inflorescence and the 3-lobed lip has a long, spatulate midlobe. Epidendrum chiguindense Hágsater & Dodson also produces the flowers from the apex of the inflorescence backward, but has short, laterally compressed stems, thick, coriaceous leaves, a long, arching, nutant, rat-tail inflorescence with a long, narrow spathaceous bract at the base, numerous, green, successive flowers, and a triangular, cordate lip with a prominent, fleshy, striated, "V" shaped callus." Hagsater etal 2006


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Icones Orchidacearum 2 Plate 107 Hagsater & Sanchez 1993 see recognition section; * Icones Orchidacearum 2 Plate 165 Hagsater & Dodson 1993 drawing fide; Icones Orchidacearum 7 Plate 722 Hagsater and Sanchez 2004 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 8 Plate 863 Hagsater & Dodson 2006 drawing fide;