Stelis brevilabris Lindl. 1845 SECTION Humboldtia

Photo by Alexander Hirtz


Drawing by Carl Luer


Original Drawing by Padre Pedro Ortiz Conserved at the Herbario de la Universidad Javeriana, Bogota Colombia


Common Name The Short Lipped Stelis

Flower Size .15" [3 mm]

Found in Cundinamarca, Valle de Cauca, Cauca and Putumayo departments of Colombia, Tungurahua, Napo, Loja and Zamora-Chinchipe provinces of Ecuador and Junin department of Peru in cloud forests at elevations around 2500 to 3000 meters as a mini-miniature sized, cold growing, long-repent epiphyte with a shortly repent rhizome and prolific, erect ramicauls partially enveloped by tubular sheaths and carrying a single, apical, erect, elliptic-oblong, coriaceous, narrowing below into the petiolate base leaf that blooms in the summer, fall and early winter on a to 3.4" [8.5 cm] long, racemose, secund, many flowered inflorescence arising through a small spathe with cucullate, acuminate, longer than the ovary floral bracts and carrying light yellow flowers.

"This species, widely distributed from the Eastern Cordillera of Colombia to Ecuador, is characterized by a long-repent habit, elliptical leaves about as long as the ramicauls, and a congested raceme longer than the leaf. The sepals are obtuse and 3-veined; the petals are 3-veined; and the lip is 3-lobed with a pair of obtuse lateral lobes overhanging the base of a concave, ovate, middle lobe. The lateral lobes appear to be modifications of the transverse bar. A similar 3-lobed lip occurs in Stelis inversa Schltr. from Peru, but it differs florally and vegetatively. It is twice the size of collections from Colombia and Ecuador." Luer 2018

Synonyms Dialissa inversa (Schltr.) Brieger 1976; Stelis inversa Schltr. 1921; Stelis serpens Luer & Hirtz 2002

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ;

* Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. 45: 107 Lindley 1845;

Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. Beih. 9: 64 Die Orchideen der Sudamerikanischen Kordillerenstaaten IV Peru Schlechter 1921 as S inversa;

Orchids of Peru Vol 1 Schweinfurth 1958 as S inversa;

Fieldiana Botany Orchids of Peru Vol 33 1st supplement Schweinfurth 1970;

Die Orchideen 3 Auflage Bd 1 Sonderabdruck aus Schlechter Lieferung 8 449 - 512 Brieger, Maatsch and Senghas 1976 as Dialyssa inversa;

Icones Pleurothallidinarum Vol XXIV A First Century of Stelis of Ecuador Luer 2002 as S serpens;

Icones Pleurothallidinarum Vol XXIV A First Century of Stelis of Ecuador Luer 2002 as S serpens drawing fide;

Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 5 Dodson 2004 photo fide;

Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 5 Dodson 2004 as Stelis serpens drawing fide;

Orchidaceae Stelis A Compendium Swartz Duque 2008 ok;

Icones Pleurothallidinarum Vol XXX Lepanthes of Jamaica Stelis of Ecuador Part IV Luer 2009;

Harvard Pap. Bot. 23: 143 Luer & Escobar 2018 drawing fide