Stelis superbiens Lindl. 1859 SUBGENUS Stellata SECTION Monostachyae Duque 2008

Photo by Lourens Grobler and hisFlickr Orchid Photo Webpage


Photo by Dr. Jeanette Rilling


Drawing by Carl Luer and Selbyana 32(1,2): 85 Luer & Vasquez 2018


Common Name The Really Nice and Large Stelis

Flower Size .4" to .6" [1 to 1.5 cm]

Found in Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru at elevations of 1000 to 2000 meters as a medium to just large sized, warm to cool growing,, epiphyte with stout, erect, close set ramicauls enveloped basally by 2 basal sheaths and another inflated one in the upper third and carrying a single, apical, erect, coriaceous, elliptic-oblong, obtuse, tridentate, cuneate below into the short conduplicate petiolate base leaf that blooms on an erect to arched, racemose, disitchous, to 18" [45 cm] long including the 2 to 4" [5 to 10 cm] long, laxly simultaneously several to many, many flowered inflorescence arising through a conduplicate spathe with infundibular floral bracts that cover the majority of the pedicel.

Many references include S leucopogon as a synonym but I have left it and its synonyms separate for now.

"Among the many species of Stelis section Stelis, the flowers of Stelis aguirreae from Ecuador are some of the largest known, with sepals nine to ten millimeters long and wide with nine or more veins. The plant is large with thick, robust ramicauls and an elliptical leaf that is surpassed by a successively flowered raceme with a few to several immense flowers open simultaneously. They are rivaled in size by some flowers of clones of the widely distributed Stelis superbiens Lindl., which is distinguished by an apiculate margin of the lip, instead of minutely notched as in S. aguirreae." Luer 2012

Synonyms Stelis cascajalensis Ames 1923; Stelis convallarioides Garay 1956; Stelis eximia Ames 1923; Stelis koehleri Schltr. 1912; Stelis propinqua Ames 1923

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ;

*Fol. Orchid. 8: 8 Lindley 1859;

Repert. Spec. Nov. Regni Veg. 10: 386 Schlechter 1912 as S koehleri;

Schedul. Orchid. 4: 11 Ames 1923 as S cascajalensis;

Schedul. Orchid. 6: 54 Ames 1923 as S eximia;

Schedul. Orchid. 6: 55 Ames 1923 as S propinqua;

Orchids of Peru Vol 1 Schweinfurth 1958 as S koehleri;

Canad. J. Bot. 34: 351 Garay 1956 as S convallarioides;

Encyclopedia of Cultivated Orchids Hawkes 1965 as S cascajalensis photo ok;

Die Orchideen 3 Auflage Bd 1 Sonderabdruck aus Schlechter Lieferung 8 449 - 512 Brieger, Maatsch and Senghas 1976 as S koehleri photo good;

Icones Planetarum Tropicarum Plate 1288 Hamer 1985 as S propinqua drawing fide;

Icones Orchidaceaerum Peruviarum Plate 580 Bennett & Christenson 1998 as S koehleri drawing fide;

Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica Vol 3 Hammel, Grayum, Herrera and Zamora 2003;

Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 5 Dodson 2004 photo ok;

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

Orchidaceae Stelis Swartz, A Compendium Duque 2008 drawing fide;

Selbyana 32(1,2): 113 Luer & Vasquez 2018

Selbyana 32(1,2): 160 Luer & Vasquez 2018 Drawing fide;

Orchid Genera and Species in Guatemala Archila, Szlachchetko, Chiron, Lipinska, Mystkowska and Bertolini 2018;

Harvard Pap. Bot. 23: 172 Luer & Escobar 2018 drawing fide;

Lankesteriana 19(1). 31 - 55 2019 photo fide

Orquideas de Farallones de Cali Galindo-Tarazona, Haelterman, Zuluaga Trochez and Sebastian Moreno 2020 photo fide;

LANKESTERIANA 23(2). Karremans, Moreno, Gil-Amaya, Morales, Espinosa, Mesa, Restrepo, Rincon-Gonzales, Serna, Sierra-Ariza and Vieira-Uribe 2023 photo fide;