Maxillaria aurea [Poepp. & Endl.] L.O.Wms. 1945 sect. Ornithidium [Salisb.] Christenson 2013

Photo by J P Janovec and The Atrium Website

Drawing of M gigantea ssp condorensis

Drawing by Alcantara, Bennett & Christenson

Part Shade Cool Cold Winter

Common Name The Golden Maxillaria

Flower Size .2" [5 mm]

Found in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru in very wet windswept mesas with elfin forests at elevations around 1500 to 2200 meters as a large, robust, cool to cold growing, pseudomonopodial, without pseudobulbs, with a stem enveloped completely by imbricating, distichous sheaths carrying linear-lorate, basally channeled, apically long tapering into a sharp point leaves that blooms at least in the winter but more likely more often, on several per axil, 2 to 4 flowered inflorescence concealed at the base by several long, scarious bracts and carrying yellow flowers

Notice the apice of the petals which are clawed, this is the major defining factor in the difference between this species and M cordyline [AKA M gigantea]

See also M cordyline [AKA M gigantea] as it has been confused with this species for at least 100 years

Synonyms Camaridium aureum (Poepp. & Endl.) Hoehne 1952; Maxillaria gigantea subsp. condorensis D.E.Benn. & Christenson 1998; Neourbania aurea (Poepp. & Endl.) Szlach. & Sitko 2012; *Ornithidium aureum Poepp. & Endl. 1836; Ornithidium bolivianum Schlechter 1929;

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Flora Brasilica Vol XII VII 115-147 Hoehne 1953 as Camaridium aureum; AOS Bulletin Vol 33 #8 1964; Venezuelan Orchids Vol 3 Dunsterville & Garay 1965 as M aurea drawing ok; Flora de Venezuela Foldats Volumen XV Part 4 1970 as Maxillaria aurea drawing ok; Die Orchideen #1 1-4 tafel 1&2 Rudolph Schlechter 1971 as Camaridium aureum photo plant only; Orchids of Venezuela An Illustrated Field Guide Vol 2 Dunsterville & Garay 1979 as M aurea drawing ok; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum plate 394 Dodson 1980 as Maxillaria aurea drawing ok; Orquideologia Vol 17 #3 1988; Die Orchideen lieferung 28 Schlechter/Brieger 1993 as Ornithidium aureum drawing/photo fide; Icones Orchidacearum Peruviarum Plate 505 Bennett & Christenson 1998 as M gigantea var condorensis drawing fide; Maxillaria An Unfinished Monograph Chrostenson 2013 drawing fide; LANKESTERIANA 14(1) 2014 as M gigantea ssp condorensis; Orquideas de Farallones de Cali Galindo-Tarazona, Haelterman, Zuluaga Trochez and Sebastian Moreno 2020 as Ornithidium aureum photo fide