Pityphyllum saragurense ( Dodson ) Whitten June 2006

Plant and Flower

Photos by © Håkan Hallander

TYPE Drawing

TYPE Drawing by © Dodson

Part ShadeColdSummer

Common Name The Saraguro Pityphyllum [An ethnic group of indiginous people and a town in Ecuador]

Flower Size .12" [3 mm]

Found in Ecuador at elevations around 2000 to 2500 meteres as a small sized, cool to cold, pendant growing epiphyte with a creeping rhizome carrying a narrowly elliptical, bifoliate apically pseudsobulb completely enveloped by a brown sheath called a tunica and gives rise to a fan of 5 to 7, distichous, later deciduous, equally spaced, oblong, acute, apiculate, thin, conduplicate leaves enveloped basally by scarious brown sheaths with 2 hook-like curved ligules attached to the sheathing base of the leaves and blooms in the summer on a short, single flowered inflorescence holding the flower close against the rhizome.

This species is somewhat of a transition between the genera Maxillaria and Pityphyllum. It does have a small column foot which places it in Maxillaria and the stems are clothed with deciduous leaves prior to development of a pseudobulb which is not a feature of Pityphyllum. The curious hooks on each side of the apex of the sheaths and pseudobulbs, as remnants of the leaf margins , immediately distinguish the species.

Synonyms Laricorchis saragurensis (Dodson) Szlach. & Sitko 2012; *Maxillaria saragurensis Dodson 1994

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; *Orquideología 19(3): 85-87 Dodson 1994 as Maxillaria saragurense drawing fide; Native Ecuadorian Orchids Dodson vol 3 2002 as Maxillaria saragurense photo fide; *AOS Orchids Vol 75 June 2006 Whitten, Blanco & Williams 2006 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 80 #2 2011 photo fide;