Pleurothallis maxima Luer 1976 SUBGENUS Crocodeilanthe [Rchb.f & Warsc.]Luer 1986


Photos by Lourens Grobler

Plant and Flower in situ - Ecuador

Photo by Patricia Harding

TYPE Drawing

TYPE Drawing by Carl Luer and The Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Jany Renz Herbaria Website


Common Name The Grand Pleurothallis

Flower Size .15" [3 mm]

Found in Pichincha and Carchi provinces of Ecuador and Antioquia department of Colombia at elevations of 1000 to 2300 meters as a large sized, cool to cold growing, densely caesspitose epiphyte or terrestrial with fasiculate, stout, erect ramicauls enveloped by a loose tubular sheath above the middle and2 to 3, loose, imbricating sheaths at the base and carrying a single, apcial, erect, coriaceous,elliptic-ovate, subacute to obtuse to rounded, broadly cuneate below into the subpetiolate base leaf that blooms in the winter and early spring on a fascile of to 30, simultaneous, distichous to subsecund, arising throug a foliaceous spathe and an annulus, 6 to 12" [15 to 30 cm] long, racemose, densely and simultaneously many flowered inflorescence with a broadly infundibular, as long as the ovary floral bracts.

"Similar to the multi-flowered P batillacea And P fonsflorum but is distinguished by the subpetiolate leaves and single veined petals. It is also similar tothe single veined P galeata but P maxima differs in the subpetiolate leaves and much longer racemes as well as the abscence of a distinct callus on both lateral and apical lobes." Luer 1998

CASUTION Although close I am not convinced that this is truely P maxima, I need a better photo of the lip apex and the side lobe shape so please use with caution! The drawing by Luer is the TYPE so it is absolutely correct.

Synonyms Crocodeilanthe maxima (Luer) Luer 2004; Stelis dapsilis Pridgeon & M.W. Chase 2002; Stelis maxima (Luer) Pridgeon & M.W. Chase 2001

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ;

* Selbyana 3: 140 Luer 1976 drawing fide;

Icones Pleurothallidinarum Systematics of Pleurothallis Vol 3 Luer 1986;

Icones Pleurothallidinarum Vol XVI Systematics of Pleurothallis subgenera Crocodeilanthe, Rhynchopera and Talpinaria Luer 1998

Icones Pleurothallidinarum Vol XVI Systematics of Pleurothallis subgenera Crocodeilanthe, Rhynchopera and Talpinaria Luer 1998 drawing ok;

Lindleyana Vol 16 No 4:264 Pridgeon & M.W. Chase2001 as Stelis maxima;

Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 4 Dodson 2003 photo ok;

Icones Pleurothallidinarum Vol XXVI Pleurothallis subgenus Acianthera and Three Allied subgenera, A Second Century of new Species of Stelis of Ecuador, Epibator, Ophidion and Zootrophion Luer 2004 as Crocodeilanthe maxima;

Icones Pleurothallidinarum Vol XXVII Dryadella and Acronia section Macrophyllae-Fasciculatae Luer 2005?