Stelis tenuicaulis Lindl. 1859 SECTION Humboldtia

Plant and Flowers

Photos by S Manning


TYPE Drawing by Carl Luer and Selbyana 32(1,2): 115 Luer & Vasquez 2018

Common Name The Slender Inflorescence Stelis

Flower Size

Found in Peru and La Paz department Bolivia at elevations around 2900 meters as a small sized, cold growing, ascending, shortly repent epiphyte with an ascending rhizome giving rise to an erect, slender ramicaul enveloped by 2 tubular sheaths and carrying a single, apical, erect, coriaceous, narrowly elliptical-oblong to oblong, acute, gradually narrowing below into the petiolate base leaf that blooms in the spring and summer on 1 to 2, erect, slender, distichous to subsecund, laxly, 6.8" [17 cm] long including the 1.4" [3.5 cm] long peduncle, mostly simultaneously many flowered inflorescence arising through a spathe with cucullate, acuminate, as long as to shorter than the pedicel floral bracts and carrying flowers with greenish white, glabrous sepals, red petals and a red lip.

"Stelis tenuicaulis Lindl. was described from a Bolivian collection by Bridges, but it is very similar to a more frequent and widely distributed taxon, S. brittoniana Rolfe. Because of the distinctive appearance of the flowers with acute sepals, it is being maintained separately. This species is distinguished by an ascending, repent rhizome, slender ramicauls usually distinctly longer than the leaves, and an acute, narrow leaf that is surpassed by a many-flowered raceme. The dorsal sepal is acute at the tip and the lateral sepals are connate into an acute synsepal. Similar to that of Stelis brittoniana, the lip is smooth below a rounded bar." Luer & Vasques 2018

Synonyms Stelis ascensor C.Schweinf. 1951; Stelis curvicarina C.Schweinf. 1951

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ;

*Fol. Orchid. 8: 16 Lindley 1859

Orchids of Peru Vol 1 Schweinfurth 1958 as S ascensor

Orchids of Peru Vol 1 Schweinfurth 1958 as S ascensor drawing good;

Orchids of Peru Vol 1 Schweinfurth 1958 as S curvicarina;

Orchids of Peru Vol 1 Schweinfurth 1958 as S curvicarinadrawing ok;

AOS Bulletin VOl 36 #9 1967 as S alata;

Fieldiana Botany Vol 33 1st Supplement to the Orchids of Peru Schweinfurth 1970;

Die Orchideen 3 Auflage Bd 1 Sonderabdruck aus Schlechter Lieferung 8 449 - 512 Brieger, Maatsch and Senghas 1976 as Stelis curvicaicina drawing good;

Orquideas de Bolivia Vol 1 Vasquez & Ibisch 2000;

Orchidaceae Stelis Swartz A Compendium Duque 2008 drawing good;

Selbyana 32(1,2): 115 Luer & Vasquez 2018

Selbyana 32(1,2): 161 Luer & Vasquez 2018 Drawing fide;