Stelis nitens Rchb. f. 1854


Photo by S Manning


Photo by Jay Pfahl


Drawing by Dunsterville

Common Name or Meaning The Shiny Stelis [refers to the flowers glossy appearance]

Flower Size .2" [5 mm]

Found in Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador in cloud forests or wet scrubby dwarf forests at elevations of 1800 to 3000 meteres as a miniature sized, cool to cold growing, caespitose epiphyte with erect, slender ramicauls enveloped basally by 2 to 3 tubular sheaths and carrying a single, apical, coriaceous, narrowly linear-elliptic, acute leaf that blooms on a 4 to 5" [10 to 12.5 cm] long, simultaneoulsy several flowered inflorescence with cucullate, apiculateshorter than the ovary floral bracts and carrying glabrous, shiny yellow green flowers with green petals and a brown lip.

Closely related to S lamellata but esily distinguished by its habit and bicolored flowers.

Synonyms Stelis caespitifica Rchb.f. 1855

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ;

* Bonplandia (Hannover) 2: 22 Rchb.f 1854;

Bonplandia (Hannover) 3: 71 Rchb.f 1855 as S caespitifica;

Venezuelan Orchids Vol 4 Dunsterville & Garay 1966 drawing fide;

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

Orchids of Venezuela, An Illustrated Field Guide Vol 3 Dunsterville & Garay 1979 drawing fide;

Orchids of Venezuela [An illustrated field guide] Vol. 3 Ramiro and Carnevali 2000 drawing fide;

Orquideas Nativas del Tachira Cesar Fernandez 2003 photo fide;

Orchidaceae Stelis Swartz, A Compendium Duque 2008 drawing fide