Masdevallia hymenantha Rchb.f 1855 SUBGENUS Masdevallia SECTION Masdevallia SUBSECTION Masdevallia

Photo courtesy of Lourens Grobler

Plant and Flowers

Photo courtesy of Dale and Deni Borders


Common Name The Delicate Virgin Masdevallia [referes to the thin translucent sepals of dried specimens]

Flower Size 1 1/4" [3 cm]

Found in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru in very wet cloud forests on mossy trees at 1750 to 3100 meters in elevation as a mini-miniature sized, cool to cold growing, caespitose epiphyte with a very short ramicaul enveloped by 3 basal, imbricate sheaths with an oblanceolate, attenuate, channeled petiole, rigid, tridenticulate leaf and blooms with an apical, erect, 4" [10 cm] long, solitary flowered inflorescence arising from low on the ramicaul with a singular tubular floral bract that has the flowers held at or just above leaf height occuring in the late fall and early winter in cultivation in Lima. The distinguishing factors of this species are the dark lavender flowers, obliquely oblong-elliptic petals that have a keel that terminates on the protruding, subtriangular lobe and the lip that is ecallose and narrowly elliptic-ovate.

This clump forming epiphyte is best maintained in a pot with a fast draining medium, kept moist, in shade, with good air movement

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; *Bonplandia RChb.f 1855; Systematics of Masdevallia Vol 2 Luer 1986; ; Icones Orchidacearum Peruviarum Plate 295 Bennett & Christenson 1995 drawing fide; Icones Pleurothallidinarum XXII Systematics of Masdevallia Part 3 Luer 2001 drawing fide; Masdevallia's in Kleur Vol 1 P M Oversteegen, Eisses & A P Sijm 2001 photo fide; Las Orquideas del Peru Izerskyy & Bezverhov 2011 photo fide; Orchids Masdevallia with its segregates including Dracula Zelenko 2014 photo fide;