Elleanthus formosus Garay 1978

Photo by Alexander Reynolds and The UC Davis Website

Part shade Cold

Common Name The Beautiful Elleanthus

Flower Size .6" [1.5 cm]

Found in southern Colombia and northcentral Ecuador on embankments at elevations around 2400 to 2600 meters as a medium to just large sized, cold growing terrestrial with erect to arcuate, much branching above stems carrying 3 to 5, coriaceous, narrowly elliptic, subacuminate, tridenticulate apically, basally clasping leaves that blooms on terminal, fractiflex, 2.8" [7 cm] long, 4 to 6 flowered inflorescence with glumaceous, ovate, obtuse as long as the enclosed flowers, relatively large persistent bracts and carrying large orange red flowers.

Similar to E ampliflorus but E formosus has smaller flowers, much branched apices of the stems, and the lip is without a transverse ridge in front of the cavity. It is similar to E virgatus as well but differs in the orange red flowers and by the pair of longitudinal thickenings on each side of the midline of the lip.

Although there are no flowers present in the photo above, the leaf shape and the old inflorescence leave little doubt that this photo is of E formosus.


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Native Ecuadorian Orchids Vol 2 Dodson 2001 drawing good; Flora of Ecuador No 87 225[3] Orchidaceae Dodson & Luer 2010 drawing good; Orchids of the Department of Valle de Cauca Colombia Vol 1 Kolanowska & Szlachetko 2012 drawing fide;