!Stelis ophioglossoides(Jacq.) Sw. 1799 SECTION Stelis

Photos by Julio Larramendi

Yellow flower

plant and Inflorescence

Photos by Roger Graveson and His The Plants Of Saint Lucia Website

Another Flower Purple

Plant and Flowers

Photos by Richard Gautier and His Orchid Website


Drawing by Bruno Manara 2003


Drawing by Oscar Duque

Common Name The Snake's Tongue Stelis [refers to the double inflorescence]

Flower Size 1/8" [4mm]

Found in Cuba, Jamaica, Leeward Islands, The Windward Islands, Venezuela, French Guiana and Surinam? in low elevation forests or in open fields at elevations of 200 to 1100 meters as a miniature sized, hot to warm growing epiphyte with clustered, triquetreous above, ramicauls enveloped by 1 to 2 tubular basal sheaths and another at the middle and carrying a single, apical, erect, coriaceous, narrowly elliptic-oblong to elliptical, subobtuse to tridenticulate, narrowing below into the petiolate base leaf that blooms at any time of the year on 1 to 3, as long or slightly longer than the leaf, to 3.6" [9cm] long, slender, distichous, loosely many flowered inflorescence arising through an acute spathe and has cucullate, shortly apiculate floral bracts.

This orchid has great variablity in flower color and size

Synonyms *Epidendrum ophioglossoides Jacq. 1760; Epidendrum trigoniflorum Sw. 1788; Dendrobium ophioglossoides (Jacq.) Sw. 1799; Pleurothallis ophioglossoides (Jacq.) Garay & H.R.Sweet 1972; Stelis cristalensis H.Dietr. 1985; Stelis toepfferiana Rchb.f. 1886; Stelis trigoniflora (Sw.) Garay 1978

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ;

Nova Acta Regiae Soc. Sci. Upsal., ser. 2, 6: 83 Jacq. 1799 as Epidendrum ophioglossioides;

Prodr. Veg. Ind. Occ.: 125 Sw 1788 as Epidendrum trigoniflrum;

*J. Bot. (Schrader) 1799(2): 239 Swartz 1800;

Flora 69: 556 Rchb.f 1886 as Stelis toepfferiana;

Symbolae Antillanae Vol VI Orchidaceae Urban 1909;

Symbolae Antillanae Vol VI Orchidaceae Urban 1909 as Stelis toepfferiana;

Flora of Jamaica Fawcett & Rendle 1910 drawing fide;

Flore Descriptive des Antilles Francaises H. Stehle 1939;

Native Orchids of Trinidad Schultes 1960;

Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965;

Flora de Venezuela Foldats Volumen XV Part 2 1970;

J. Arnold Arbor. 53: 391 Garay & Sweet 1972 as Pleurothallis ophioglossioides;

Flora of the Lesser Antilles Garay & Sweet 1974;

Bot. Mus. Leafl. 26: 25 Garay 1978 as Stelis trigoniflora; Feddes Repert. 96: 564 H Dietr. 1985 as Stelis cristalensis;

Catalogo Descriptivo de las Orquideas Cubanas Acuna 1987;

The Manual Of Cultivated Orchid Species Bechtel, Cribb & Launert 1992;

Orchids of Jamaica Gloudon/Ibisch 1995 Photo ok;

Orchidaceae Antillanae Nir 2000 as S cristalensis;

Orchidaceae Antillanae Nir 2000;

Flora of the Venezuelan Guayana Vol 7 Steyermark, Berry, Yatskievych and Holst 2003 drawing ok;

The Orchids of Cuba Llamacho and Laramendi 2005 photo fide;

Orchidaceae Stelis Swartz A Compendium Duque 2008 as S cristalensis;

Orchidaceae Stelis , A Compendium Duque 2008 drawing fide;

Orchidaceae Stelis , A Compendium Duque 2008 as S trigoniflorum drawing ok;