Epidendrum caligarium Rchb. f. 1869 GROUP Oerstedella SUBGROUP Verrucosum

Photo by © Eric Hunt


Photo by © Weyman Bussey


Drawing by © Jimenez, Hágsater & E.Santiago and The AMO Herbario Website


Common Name The Booted Epidendrum [refers to the similarity between the deeply lacinate lateral lobes of the lip and a roman soldiers strapped footgear]

Flower Size .6" [1.5 cm]

Found in central and western Panama in dry hot country on rock on stream banks as a small to large sized, hot growing epiphyic species that occurs around 350 to 400 meters with a simple, cane-like, terete, thin straight stem carrying numerous, alternate, articulate, linear, recurved, narrowly elliptic to linear-lanceolate, acute, basally clasping leaves and blooms in the late winter and early spring on a terminal, short, few to many flowered racemose to paniculate inflorescence with numerous, simultaneously opening flowers.

"Epidendrum caligarium belongs to the GROUP Oerstedella which is characterized by the sympodial habit, mostly verrucose stems, and the rostellum which is perpendicular to the axis of the column instead of parallell, forming a wide, open sinus and without a viscidium, and the SUBGROUP Verrucosum recognized by the small to medium sized, membranaceous tlowers with sepals and petals immaculate, a bilobed clinandrium-hood slightly surpassing the body of the column, obovoid, subequal pollinia with long granulose caudicles. The species is recognized by the thin stems, rosy purple flowers, the lateral lobes of the lip deeply 4 to 5 laciniate, with the angle between the lip and column about 45° wide, and the clin andrium-hood deeply slit, margin entire. It is nearly identical to E. niveocaligarium Hágsater which has pure white flowers, deeply 5-laciniate lateral lobes of the lip and the column and lip forming a 70 degree angle. The Mexican (Isthmus of Tehuantepec) Epidendrum macdougalii (Hágsater) Hágsater is vegetatively also very similar, but the lobes of the lip are narrow and entire, neither dentate nor deeply laciniate. Though first compared to E. myrianthum Lindl., that species has a much more vigorous vegetative habit, a large paniculate inflorescence, and the flowers similar to those of E. macdougalii, with the margin of the lobes of the lip entire." Hagsater etal 2006

Synonyms Oerstedella caligaria (Rchb. f.) Hágsater 1981

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; The Genus Epidendrum Ames 1936; The Orchids of Panama L.O. Williams & P Allen 1946 drawing fide; Field Guide to the Orchids of Costa Rica and Panama Dressler 1993 as Oerstedella caligaria; Icones Orchidacearum 8 Plate 815 Hagsater 2006 drawing fide; Icones Orchidacearum Vol 8 Plate 860 Hagsater & Sanchez 2006 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum Vol 8 Plate 869 Hagsater & Sanchez 2006 see recognition section;