Stelis leprina Luer & R.Escobar 2016SECTION Labiatae

TYPE Drawing by © Carl Luer

Common Name The Leper Stelis [From the Latin leprinus, “having leprosy (lepra),” referring to the substance within the floral parts that are superficially similar to diseased tissue of leprosy]

Flower Size .12" [3 mm]

Found in Risaralda department of Colombia at elevations around 2100 meters as a mini-miniature sized, densely caespitose epiphyte with erect, slender ramicauls enveloped by a tubular sheath below the middle and another at the base and carrying a single, apical, erect, coriaceous, narrowly elliptical, acute, narrowing below into the petiolate base leaf that blooms in the spring on a single, from a node at the apex of the ramicaul, peduncle .8" [2 cm] long, rachis to 3.2" [8 cm] long, erect, congested, secund, mostly simultaneously many flowered inflorescence with oblique, acute shorter to as long as the ovary floral bracts and carrying flowers with probably yellow or white sepals.

"This little, caespitose species is distinguished by a congested, secund raceme of minute flowers. Most vegetative and floral parts contain irregular particles of an unknown substance, similar to what is seen in the similar Stelis coralloides Luer & Hirtz. From the latter, Stelis leprina is distinguished by extremely small petals and lip, the lip being half as large as a sepal of S. coralloides. The petals and lip disappear in older flowers, but near the tip of the raceme they persist without invasion by the mysterious substance." Luer 2016


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ;

*Harvard Pap. Bot. 21: 205 Luer & Escobar 2016 drawing fide