Stelis flacca Rchb.f. 1855 SECTION Humboldtia

photo of Peruvian plant by Alexander Reynolds

Another Orchid from Colombia

Photo by Sociedad Colombiana de Orquideologia website


Drawing by Carl Luer

Common Name The Weak Stelis

Flower Size .2" [5 mm]

Found in Antioquia and Valle de Cauca departments of Colombia, Pichincha and Imbabura provinces of Ecuador and Cajamarca department of Peru in cloud forests at elevations of 1600 to 2100 meters as a small sized, cool to cold growing, densely caespitose-ascending epiphyte with erect ramicauls enveloped by 2 tubular sheaths and carrying a single, apical, erect, coriaceous, elliptical, subacute, gradually narrowing below into the petiolate base leaf that blooms in the fall on 1 to 4, arising through a spathe, erect, slightly fractiflex, distichous, loose, 3.6 to 5.2" [9 to 13 cm] long including the .68 to 1" [1.7 to 2.5 cm] long peduncle, mostly simultaneously many flowered inflorescence with cucullate, acuminate, shorter to as long as the ovary floral bracts and carrying [according to Luer] bilabiate flowers with a dark purple dorsal sepal, yellow white lateral sepals , purple petals and a purple lip.

"Characterized by a slender, densely caespitose habit that forms an ascending fascile of ramicauls. The 1 to 4 racemes bear flowes beyind the narrowly elliptical, acute leaves. The dorsal sepal is dark purple while the deeply concave, transverse synsepal is yellow. The petals are proportionally large. The bar of the lip stands erect above the braodly thickened, rounded apex. On the front surface is a shallow glenion. On the back surface there is a low conical callus." Luer 2009

CAUTION I cannot verify this determination as niether of the photos allows enough detail of the central apparatus so please use with caution!

Synonyms Stelis alismifolia Lindl. 1859

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ;

* Bonplandia (Hannover) 3: 210 Rchb.f 1855;

Fol. Orchid. 8: 16 Lindley 1859 as S alismifolia;

Orchids of Peru Vol 1 Schweinfurth 1958;

Orchidaceae Stelis Swartz A Compendium Duque 2008 drawing ok;

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

Icones Pleurothallidinarum Vol XXX Lepanthes of Jamaica Stelis of Ecuador part IV Luer 2009 drawing ok;

Harvard Pap. Bot. 23: 149 Luer & Escobar 2018 drawing fide

Orquideas de Farallones de Cali Galindo-Tarazona, Haelterman, Zuluaga Trochez and Sebastian Moreno 2020 as S cf flacca photo not