Masdevallia empusa Luer 1978 SUBGENUS Polyantha SECTION Alaticaules SUBSECTION Alaticaules [Krzl.] Luer 1986

Photo by © Lourens Grobler

Flower Closeup

Photo by © Jay Pfahl

TYPE Drawing

TYPE Drawing by Carl Luer

Common Name The Hobgoblin Masdevallia [an allusion to the appearrance of the flower]

Flower Size 3/4" [2 cm]

Found in Morona-Santiago and Zamora Chinchipe provinces of southern Ecuador and Huanuco department of central Peru at elevations of 700 to 2000 meters as a miniature sized, warm to cool growing epiphyte with stout, erect, ramicauls enveloped basally by 2 to 3 tubular sheaths and carrying a single, apical, erect, coriaceous, narrowly elliptical, subacute leaf that gradually narrows below into the base and blooms in the spring on an erect, arising from low on the ramicaul and with a tubular basal bract, congested, successively few flowered, racemose, triquetrous inforescence and imbricating, thin, as long as to longer than the ovary floral bracts carrying sometimes 2 simultaneous flowers often only one.

" Characterized by a long, triquetrous peduncle that elevates the congested, successively flowered raceme well above the leaves, but sometimes 2 flowers open simultaneously. The flower is relatively large witha slender, decurved tail of the dorsal sepal and shorter recurved tails of the lateral sepals.The lateral sepals area prominently rugose and sulcate within, each sepal coursed by 3 thick, elevated, undulating veins. The petals arte oblong with a narrow, descending, basal tooth. The epichile of the lip is finely fringed.' Luer 2000

SynonymsAlaticaulia empusa (Luer) Luer 2006; Masdevallia jimenezii Königer 1996

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Systematics of Masdevallia Vol 2 Luer 1986; Icones Orchidacearum Peruviarum Plate 288 Bennett & Christenson 1995; A Treasure of Masdevallia Vol 25 Luer & Dalstroem 2000 watercolor/drawing fide; 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 photo fide; Icones Pleurothallidinarum XXV Systematics of Masdevallia Part Five 2005; Icones Pleurothallidinarum Vol XXVIII Luer 2006 as Alaticaulia aenigma; Orchidaceae Masdevallia and Affiliates Dodson & Luer 2009 as Alaticaulia empusa drawing fide; Orchids Masdevallia with its segregates including Dracula Zelenko 2014 photo fide;