Odontoglossum furcatum Dalström 2012 SECTION Auriculatum SERIES Cristatum Dalstrom 2020

Photo by © Guido Deburghgraeve


TYPE Drawing

Photo/TYPE Drawing by © Dalstrom

Common Name The Forked Odontoglossum [referrs to the forked column wings]

Flower Size 2.4" [6 cm]

Found in Ecuador on the nortwestern slopes of the Andes at elevations of 1500 to 2300 meters as a small to medium sized, cool to cold growing epiphyte with caespitose, ancipitous, slightly compressed, glossy, ovoid pseudobulbs enveloped basally by 7 to 9 distichous, uppermost foliaceous sheaths and carrying 2, apical, conduplicate, narrowly obovate to elliptic, acuminate, subpetiolate base leaves that blooms in the summer and fall on an axillary, from the base of the uppermost sheaths, suberect to arching to subpendent, weakly flexuous to almost straight, to 18" [45 cm] long, to 10 flowered inflorescence with appressed, scale-like, much shorter than the ovary floral bracts and carrying relatively large, stellate to slightly campanulate, showy, fragrant flowers.

"The earliest examined documentation of Odontoglossum furcatum is a nineteenth century collection by William Jameson from the “Andes of Quito”, deposited at Kew. It shows a compact plant with a short inflorescence carrying two flowers and one bud, mounted between two specimens of O. hallii. This O. furcatum specimen was determined as “Odontoglossum cristatum” by Bockemühl in 1985. Indeed, these two species are closely related and resemble each other in several ways. The type of O. cristatum was collected by Theodore Hartweg in southern Ecuador near the town of Paccha, perhaps contemporary with the Jameson collection, and it has been observed in recent years by Dalström, growing at 1200 to 1500 meters, an uncommonly low altitude for the genus. The flowers of O. cristatum are smaller in general and the column more slender and with differently shaped wings than O. furcatum. Although some natural variation occur in both species and occasional plants have been found that resemble intermediate forms, plants displaying the typical morphology of O. cristatum are not sympatric with O. furcatum. The bifurcate column wings of O. furcatum strongly resemble the wings of O. halli, which is a higher elevation species that displays larger flowers with a very different looking lip that easily separates the two taxa. Odontoglossum cristatellum may superficially resemble O. furcatum but is distinguished by the stout column with broad, generally rectangle column wings. Occasionally O. cristatellum can have more triangular column wings, resembling those of O. cristatum and occasionally some intermediate forms are seen, possibly resulting from natural hybridization in areas where the two species occur in reasonably close proximity, a phenomenon often reported in Odontoglossum." Dalstrom 2012

Synonyms Oncidium furcatum (Dalström) J.M.H.Shaw 2013

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; *Lankesteriana 12[3]: 155-160 Dalstrom 2012 drawing/photo fide; The Odontoglossum Story Dalstrom, Higgins & Deburghgraeve 2020 drawing/photo fide