Stelis gemma Garay 1969 SECTION Stelis

Plant and Flowers

Photos by Milan Vagner©


Drawing by © Carl Luer

to MID

Common Name The Gem Stelis

Flower Size 1/2" [1.25 cm]

This is a positive ID.

Found in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru in wet montane forests at elevations of 800 to 2000 meters as a mini-miniature sized, warm to cool growing epiphyte with erect ramicauls enveloped by 2 to 3, dilated, fibrous sheaths and carrying a singel, apical, grey green, glaucous, broadly oblong to suborbicular, coriaceous, marginate, white rimmed, obtuse and tridenticulate apically, abruptly narrowing below into the very short petiolate base leaf that blooms in nature in the winter on 1 to 2, .8" [2 cm] long, shorter than the leaf, few flowered inflorescence arising through a spathe and completely enveloped by loose, imbricate, cucullate, apiculate bracts.

The round, pendent, overlapping greyish green, glaucous leaves and the large roundish, snowy white flowers with purple petals and lip bourne on a successively, short, distichous raceme held between the hanging leaves make this species unique. The lateral sepals are distinctly larger than the dorsal sepal and they curve slightly forward so that the flower does not open in a flat plane. The petals are thickly ovoid and the lip is small and broadly rounded." Luer 2009


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ;

*Orquideologia 4: 77 Garay 1969;

Orchidaceae Stelis Swartz A Compendium Duque 2008 drawing fide;

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

Icones Pleurothallidinarum Vol XXX Lepanthes of Jamaica Stelis of Ecudor Part IV Luer 2009 drawing fide;

Orchid Species of Peru Zelenko & Bermudez 2009 as S villenae photo fide;

A Compendium of Miniature Orchid Species Vol 2 Parsons and Gerritsen 2013 photo fide;

AOS Bulletin Vol 85 #11 2016 photo good;