Stelis grossilabris Rchb.f. 1881 SECTION Stelis

Drawing by Ernesto Foldats

Common Name The Thick Lipped Stelis

Flower Size .12" [3 mm]

Found in Bolivar state of Venezuela in elfin forests at elevations of 1250 to 1850 meters as a miniature to small sized, cool growing, caespitose epiphyte with erect ramciauls enveloped by 2 to 3, loose, acuminate sheaths and carrying a single, apical, erect, coriaceous, elliptic-oblong, obtuse to rounded gradually narrowing below into the conduplicate, petiolate base leaf that blooms in the fall, winter and spring on an erect, to 6" [15 cm] long, mostly simultaneously many flowered inflorescence arising through a spathe at the apex of the ramicaul and carrying flat flowers that all face in one direction and have acuminate floral bracts and carrying light greenish flowers ".

Rchb.f suggest that this species is similar to S spathulata but it has very short bracts. He also compared it to S tenuilabris but differs in the less cuneate, spathulae, acute leaves. S grossilabris has light greenish small flowers with racemes much shorter than the leaves. The lip is quite distinct and is a "thick fleshy mass" instead of a "membraneous body.

Synonyms Apatostelis grossilabris (Rchb.f.) Garay 1979

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ;

* Gard. Chron., n.s., 16: 717 Rchb.f 1881

AOS Bulletin Vol 33 #8 1964;

Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated Vol. 3 Dunsterville & Garay 1965 drawing not = S tristyla;

AOS Bulletin Vol 36 #9 1967;

Flora de Venezuela Foldats Volumen XV Part 2 1970 drawing ok;

Bot. Mus. Leafl. 27: 188 Garay 1979 as Apatostelis grossilabris