Stelis foetida O.Duque 1997 SECTION Nexipous

TYPE Drawing

TYPE Photo/TYPE Drawing by © Duque and The Epidendra Website


Drawing by © Carl Luer


Common Name The Stinky Stelis [refers to the smelly flowers]

Flower Size .12" [3 mm]

Found in Antioquia and Risaralda departments of Colombia and Carchi [province of Ecuador at elevations around 2300 to 2400 meters as a small sized, cold growing, caespitose epiphyte with erect, slender ramicauls enveloped by a long tubular sheath in the middle third and 2 others at the base and carrying a single, apical, erect, coriaceous, narrowly elliptical, acute, tridenticulate, contracted below into the sulcate, petiolate base leaf that blooms in the late winter and early spring on 1 to several, erect to arching, distichous, 5.2 to 8" [13 to 20 cm] long including the peduncle, mostly simultaneously many flowered inflorescence arising through an apiculate spathe with infundibular, apiculate, just short to as long as the ovary floral bracts and carrying foul smelling, yellowish flowers.

Closely related to S spathulata but separated by the slightly different sepals and petals and the foul smelling flowers.

"Stelis foetida is widely distributed in Colombia and Ecuador. It is characterized by acute, narrowly elliptical leaves surpassed by a slender, secund raceme of small flowers. The sepals are ovate and three-veined, with the laterals more or less antrorse. The petals are thin and three-veined. The lip is subquadrate, longer than wide with a deep obtusely cleft bar, and the apex is triapiculate, being acutely apiculate between acute, marginal angles." Luer 2018


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ;

*Orquideología Vol 20 #3 pg 342–343, pl. 10, 4 Duque 1997 drawing/photo fide;

Orchidaceae Stelis Swartz A Compendium Duque 2008 drawing/photo fide;

Harvard Pap. Bot. 23: 28 Luer & Escobar 2018 Drawing fide