Stelis flexuosa Lindl. 1843 SECTION Stelis


Photo by Lourens Grobler

Another Flower commonly sold as S cuencana not

Photo by Jeff Gallica and The Neotropical Flora Website


Drawing by Oscar Duque

Common Name or Meaning The Flexous Stelis

Flower Size 1/16" [3mm]

Found from Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia at elevations of 1200 to 3950 meters as a miniature sized, cold to cool growing, caespitose terrestrial or lithophyte with a very slender stem enveloped basally by 2 to 3 tubular sheaths ans carrying a single, apical, oblanceolate to narrowly obovate, marginate leaf that gradually narrows into a short petiole that blooms in the summer 1 1/4 to 3 3/4" [3 to 9 cm] long, suberect to arcuate, filiform, fractiflex, racemose, several to many flowered inflorescence with minute, infundibuliform, shorter than the ovary floral bracts and carrying very small, membraneous, red flowers.

CAUTION!!!! This determination seems suspect to me. I await further information but does not jive with Foldats nor Dunsterville, but the photo provided in Duque's compendium is very similar but has a rounded lip apex and the photo it is very angular. Kew puts thisone as a synonym of S concinna but I have left them separate for now.

SEE ALSO Stelis cuencana and S concinna which are very similar. S concinna is said to be synomonous with this species and if so then S concinna takes precedence. Stelis flexuosissima is also very similar.

Synonyms Stelis tolimensis Schltr. 1924

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ;

* Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. 12: 397 Lindley 1843

Orchids of Peru Vol 1 Schweinfurth 1958;

Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated Vol 4 Dunsterville & Garay 1966 drawing not;

Flora de Venezuela Foldats Volumen XV Part 2 1970 drawing not;

Orchids of Venezuela, An Illustrated Field Guide Vol 3 Dunsterville & Garay 1979 drawing not;

Orchids of Venezuela [An illustrated field guide] Vol. 3 Ramiro and Carnevali 2000 drawing not;

Orquideas de Bolivia Vol 1 Vasquez & Ibisch 2000 photo fide;

Orchidaceae Stelis Swartz A Compendium Duque 2008 drawing good except rounded lip/photo good except rounded lip;

Orchid Species Of Peru Zelenko & Bermudez 2009 photo fide;

Orchid Digest Vol 78 #4 2014 photo fide;