Platystele lancilabris (Rchb. f.) Schltr. 1923

Photo by Daniel Jimenez and his Orchid Photo Flickr Website


Drawing by Carl Luer

Full shadeHot Warm Winter Spring Summer Fall

Common Name or Meaning The Spear-Like Lip Platystele

Flower Size .2" [6mm]

Found in Costa Rica on mossy small branches in wet montane forests at elevations around 100 to 1150 meters as a miniature sized, hot to warm growing epiphyte with erect, slender ramicauls enveloped by 2 to 3 thin, imbricating tubular sheaths and carrying a single, apical, erect, coriaceous, narrowly elliptical-obovate, subacute to obtuse, narrowly cuneate below into the indistinct petiolate base leaf that blooms at any time of the year on an erect, strict, loose, distichous, to 3.2" [to 8 cm] long including the slender .8 to 1.2" [2 to 3 cm] long peduncle, simultaneously several flowered, racemose inflorescence arising laterally from the ramicaul with oblique floral bracts.

Many sources cite this species as a synonym of P oxyglosa but I have left them separate at this time. P lancilabris differs from P oxyglossa by being endemic to Costa Rica, larger in size, a strict, nearly simultaneously opening flowering inflorescence instead of flexuous and successively flowered, The sepals and petals are acute and not acuminate and shorter than P oxyglossa as well as the lip is lanceolate, not acuminate and there is a large gelion at the base.

Synonyms Pleurothallis lancilabris (Rchb.f.) Schltr. 1913; *Stelis lancilabris Rchb.f. 1866

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Beitr. Orchid.-K. C. Amer. 94, t. 8, f. ii, 3-5. 1866. as Stelis lancilabris; * Repert. Sp. Nov. Regni. Veg. Beih. 19: 102. Costa Rica Schlechter 1923; Orchids of Guatemala and Belize Ames & Correll 1952 as pleurothallis lancilabris; Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated Vol 1 Dunsterville & Garay 1959 drawing fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 36 #9 1967; Las Orquedias De El Salvador Vol 2 Hamer 1974 drawing ok/photo hmm; Orchids of Venezuela, An Illustrated Field Guide Vol 3 Dunsterville & Garay 1979 drawing ok; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum Plate 205 Dodson 1980 drawing fide; Las Orquedias de El Salvador Vol 3 Hamer 1981 drawing ok; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum Plate 1078 Hamer 1984 drawing fide; Icones Pleurothallidinarum Vol VII Systematics of Platystele Luer 1990 drawing fide; Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica Vol 3 Hammel, Grayum, Herrera and Zamora 2003; A Compendium Of Miniature Orchid Species Vol 2 Parsons & Gerritson 2013 photo good;