Masdevallia unguentum A.Doucette 2012 SUBGENUS Masdevallia SECTION Masdevallia SUBSECTION Saltatrices [Rchb.f] Luer 1986

Head On View

Plant and Flower

Photos by © Alfonso Doucette

FragrancePartial Shade Cold

Common Name The Perfumed Masdevallia

Flower Size .4" [1 cm] wide .8" [2 cm] long

Found in Valle de Cauca department of Colombia at elevations of 2200 to 2400 meters as a miniature sized, cold growing epiphyte with semiterete, sulcate adaxially, keeled abaxially stems enveloped by 2, basal sheaths and carrying a single, apical, erect, coriaceous, narrowly elliptic, acute, gradually narrowing below into the petiolate base leaf that blooms on a slender, terete, erect to horizontal, 2. to 2.48" [5 to 6.2 cm] long peduncle, enveloped by 2 tubular bracts, sungle flowered inflorescence and carrying fragrant flowers.

The Masdevallia saltatrix group includes M. angulifera, M. filaria Luer & Escobar, M. marthae Luer & Escobar, M. saltatrix, and M. ventriculosa Reichenbach are characterized by yellow, tubular, ventricose calyxes that are spotted or striped and variously suffused with red or brown. Species of this group are distinguished from each other in Luer’s key to the subsection Saltatrices primarily on the habit of the tails. Masdevallia unguentum is distinguished morphologically from all members of this group by a dorsal tail that rests against the back of the calyx. Masdevallia unguentum will key to M. saltatrix (Luer 2000b), but it differs from that species in having a strong rather than an imperceptible odor and in having sepals that are striped rather than spotted, with margins revolute rather than flat. Petal and lip morphology of M. unguentum is similar to that of M. saltatrix but differs subtly by petal apices that are not bilobed and in the narrowness of the lip above the middle.


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; *Phytotaxa 48: 34 Doucette 2012 drawing/photo fide; Orchids Masdevallia with its segregates including Dracula Zelenko 2014 photo fide; Orquideas de Farallones de Cali Galindo-Tarazona, Haelterman, Zuluaga Trochez and Sebastian Moreno 2020 photo fide