Masdevallia ensata Rchb. f. 1849 SUBGENUS Masdevallia SECTION Masdevallia SUBSECTION Masdevallia

Another Color Form

Photos by Eric Hunt

Plant and Flower in situ Ecuador

Common Name The Sword-Shaped Masdevallia [refers to the leaves]

Flower Size 3/4" [2 cm]

Found in Venezuela, Colombia and Peru at elevations of 2400 to 3200 meters in wet forests as a miniature to small sized, cold growing epiphyte with erect, slender, ramicauls enveloped basally by 2 to 3 tubular sheaths and carrying a single, apical, erect, coriaceous, long-petiolate, elliptical, subacute to obtuse leaf that is cuneate below into the slender petiole and blooms in the spring and summer on an erect, slender, 2 3/4 to 3 5/8" [7 to 9 cm] long inflorescence arising from low on the ramicaul carrying a single flower held at or just below leaf height.

It differs from others in having creamy, white sepals striped in red or purple, a cylindrical sepaline tube that is longer and has deeply connate sepals, and by a short process at the base of the petals, a deeply incised base of the lip and a slender, 2 mm long, extension of the column foot.

Synonyms Masdevallia xiphium Rchb.f ex Kraenzl. 1925

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Bonplandia Rchb.f 1854; Venezuelan Orchids Vol 5 Dunsterville & Garay 1966 drawing fide; Flora de Venezuela Foldats Volumen XV Part 3 1970; Orchids of Venezuela An Illustrated Field Guide Vol 2 Dunsterville & Garay 1979 drawing fide; Systematics of Masdevallia Vol 2 Luer 1986; Orchids of Venezuela [An illustrated field guide] Vol. 2 Ramiro and Carnevali 2000 drawing fide; Icones Pleurothallidinarum XXII Systematics of Masdevallia Part 3 Luer 2001 drawing fide; Orquideas Nativas del Tachira Cesar Fernandez 2003 photo ok; Libro Rojo de Plantas De Colombia Vol 6 Primera Parte Saenz 2007; Orchid Species of Peru Zelenko Bermudez 2009 photo fide; Las Orquideas del Peru Izerskyy & Bezverhov 2011 photo fide; Orchids Masdevallia with its segregates including Dracula Zelenko 2014 photo fide;