Epidendrum polychromum Hágsater 1979 GROUP Arbuscula SUBGROUP Arbuscula

TYPE Drawing

TYPE Photo/TYPE Drawing by © Fritz Hamer and The AMO Herbaria Website


Common Name The Many Colored Epidendrum

Flower Size .24” [6 mm]

Found in Chiapas state of Mexico and in El Salvador at elevations around 2000 meters as a giant sized, cool to cold growing terrestrial with erect, branching from a central node of the previous stem carrying 2 to 3, along the upper portion of the stem, articulate, subcoriaceous, alternate, narrowly elliptic, obtuse leaves that blooms in the late fall and early winter on a terminal, arcuate-pendent, rachis somewhat flattened at the base, with a basal acute, triangular bract, simultaneously about 30 flowered inflorescence with a basal, triangular, acute floral bract and carrying showy, resupinate flowers.

"Epidendrum polychromum belongs to the GROUP Arbuscula SUBGROUP Arbuscula which is characterized by the successive lateral growths produced from the middle of the previous growth, few leaves aggregate towards the apex of the stems, arching, apical inflorescence with membranaceous, colorful flowers with the lip bicallose. The species is recognized by the dense inflorescence with up to 33 attractive, colorful flowers, the sepals and petals purple, reddish brown or reddish green and the lip 3-lobed, creamy white with a ring of purple lines around the disc, the column slightly tinged with purple. Epidendrum arbuscula Lindl. has greenish cream colored flowers which turn yellowish brown with time and the column has a pair of triangular purple spots, the anther is also tinted purple. Epidendrum nicaraguense Scheeren ex Hágsater is morphologically very similar, but the inflorescence has 8 to 15 pale pink flowers which turn orange yellow with time, and a white lip; the flowers are somewhat larger sepals .64 to .68" [16 to 17 mm] long. Epidendrum radioferens (A.H.S.) Hágsater grows in Mexico (Oaxaca & Chiapas) and Guatemala (Sierra de Cuchumatanes, and south to the Tajomulco) and has intense magenta-red to burgundy-red flowers, the lip with 3 central keels and multiple radiating, cream-colored or yellowish, thickened keels; the apical half of the lip frequently revolute." Hagsater etal 2010


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; *Orquideas Mexico City n.s., 7: 156 Hagsater 1979 drawing/photo fide; Las Orquedias de El Salvador Vol 3 Hamer 1981 drawing/photo fide; Selbyana Vol 10 Orchids of Central America Hamer 1988 drawing fide; Icones Orchidacearum 2 Plate 160 Hagsater & Dodson 1993 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum 13 Plate 1374 Hagsater 2010 drawing fide; Orchid Genera and Species in Guatemala Archila, Szlachchetko, Chiron, Lipinska, Mystkowska and Bertolini 2018