Maxillaria praestans Rchb. f 1885 sect. Cucullatae Christenson 2013

photo by The Orquidess du Nord Website

Common Name The Outstanding Maxillaria

Flower Size 3 1/2" [9 cm]

Found in Chiapas state of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua at elevations around 1500 to 2000 meters in humid montane forests as a medium sized, cool growing epiphyte and occasional lithophyte on sheer rock cliffs with laterally compressed, elliptic pseudobulbs enveloped basally by several scarious sheaths and carrying a solitary, elliptic-ligulate leaf that is conduplicate towards the base that blooms in the spring, summer and fall on a 5" [12.5 cm] long, green inflorescence arising on a mature pseudobulb and enveloped completely with brown, cauline sheaths and an inflated floral bract, giving rise to a single, long-lasting, fragrant, well open flower.

Often said to be a synonym of M cucullata but differs by having large, showy, bright yellow flowers with red markings at the base of the perianth and the strong, sweet aroma as well as having a sulcate, ligulate callus between the lateral lobes of the lip.

Part of the M cucculata group which includes, M meleagris; M obscura, , M punctostriata and M cedralensis

Synonyms Camaridium praestans [Lindl.] Blanco 2007; Maxillaria seymouriana J.T.Atwood 1981; Psittacoglossum praestans (Rchb.f.) Szlach. & Sitko 2012; Psittacoglossum seymourianum (J.T.Atwood) Szlach. & Sitko 2012

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI Die Orchideen Schlechter 1915; Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965 photo hmm; Las Orquedias de El Salvador Vol 3 Hamer 1981 drawing good/photo fide; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum plate 863 Dodson 1983 drawing ok; AOS Bulletin Vol 63 No 4 1994 photo as Maxillaria seymouriana see M cucculata; Guatemala Y Sus Orquideas Behar & Tinschert 1998 photo fide; Icones Orchidacearum fascile 10 plate 1049 Hagsater & Soto 2008 drawing ok; Guia de Orquideas de Chiapas Carlos Rommel Beutelspacher Baigts 2013 as Camarisium praestans photo fide; Orchid Genera and Species in Guatemala Archila, Szlachchetko, Chiron, Lipinska, Mystkowska and Bertolini 2018