Masdevallia excelsior Luer & Andreetta 1981 SUBGENUS Polyantha SECTION Alaticaules SUBSECTION Alaticaules [Krzl.] Luer 1986

Photo by Eric Hunt

Another Aspect

Photo courtesy of Eric Hunt, plant grown by San Fransisco Conservatory of Flowers.

TYPE Drawing

TYPE Drawing by Carl Luer

Common Name The Outstanding Masdevallia

Flower Size 3/4" [2 cm]

Found in Morona-Santiago and Zamora-Chinchipe provinces of Ecuador in cloud forest at elevations of 1500 to 2300 meters as a small sized, caespitose, cool to cold growing epiphyte and occasional terrestrial with stout erect ramicauls enveloped basally by 2 to 3 loose, tubular sheaths carrying a single, apical, oblanceolate leaf tapering to a long petiolate base that blooms in the spring on a slender, with a basal bract, erect, 10" [25 cm] long, successively few, triquetrous, single flowered inflorescence and a tubular, shorter than the pedicel floral bract carrying the distant flowers, each occuring well above the previous and all held above leaf height.

"Charaterized by a broad, petiolate leaf and an exceeding long peduncle. The raceme of a few distant flowers is reminiscent of M aenigma, but the raceme of the later is shorter and more congested, often with 2 simultanoeus flowers borne by a shorter peduncle. The sepaline tube of the later is also much shorter. The similar yellow dorsal sepal and purple synsepal of M excelsior are connate into a very short cup beyond which the synsepal expands. All three tails are long and slender. The petals are oblong with a callous swelling at the base of the lamella along the margin. The lip is subpandurate with broadly obtuse, marginal folds and the tip of the epichile is acuminate-apiculate." Luer 2000

Synonyms Alaticaulia excelsior (Luer & Andreetta) Luer 2006

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Systematics of Masdevallia Vol 2 Luer 1986; Icones Orchidacearum Peruviarum Plate 288 Bennett & Christenson 1995; Icones Pleurothallidinarum XIX Systematics of Masdevallia Part 1 Luer 2000 drawing fide; Masdevallia's in Kleur Vol 1 P M Oversteegen, Eisses & A P Sijm 2001 photo fide; Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 3 Dodson 2002 drawing fide; Icones Pleurothallidinarum XXV Systematics of Masdevallia Part Five Luer 2003; Icones Pleurothallidinarum Vol XXVIII Luer 2006 as Alaticaulia excelsior; Orchids Masdevallia with its segregates including Dracula Zelenko 2014 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 86 # 1 2017 photo fide;