Epidendrum radicans Pavon ex Lindley 1831 GROUP Secundum SUBGROUP Secundum

Flower Closeup in situ Mexico Photos by © Jay Pfahl


Common Name The Ground Rooting Epidendrum

Flower Size 1" [2.5 cm]

Found from Puerto Rico, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Venezuela and Colombia as a large sized, warm to cold growing terrestrial or lithophyte growing most often in open areas between grasses and rocks, especially on roadside banks in pine oak forest and mountain rain forest at elevations of 900 to 2500 meters with erect to nutant canes with adventitious roots, and carrying ovate to elliptic, an unequally bilobed apex, coriaceous leaves that are evenly distributed along the branching stem that blooms the most between fall and spring on a terminal, erect, 10 to 38" [25 to 50 cm] long, umbelliform inflorescence with successive opening, resupinate flowers all clustered in a ball at the apex.

It differs from Epidendrum ibaguense H.B.K. in having roots all along the stem and a creeping habit, never caespitose. I have 15 or so of this species planted directly in the ground in my front yard and it is almost everblooming and a colony is a very impressive site.

The first photo was taken in Panama and the second is from Mexico.

"Epidendrum radicans Pavon ex Lindl. belongs to the GROUP Secundum SUBGROUP Secundum , characterized by the caespitose habit, numerous oblong, coriaceous leaves, usually elongate peduncle of the inflorescence with a short raceme of flowers, bicallose lip and caudicles of the pollinia, like a pile of roof-tiles. The species is recognized by the creeping, terrestrial plants, with the roots produced all along the stems, the resupinate flowers are orange-red, and the leaves are ovate-elliptic, the petals elliptic with an entire margin, and the lip deeply 3-lobed. Epidendrum flexuosum has epiphytic plants with linear-oblong leaves, purple, nonresupinate flowers, obovate, unguiculate petals with the margin dentate, and the lip subentire, rectangular-oblong to somewlat 3-lobed. Epidendrum blepharistes Barker ex Lindl. has similar narrow leaves, but the stems are thickened-fusiform at the base, and the inflorescence is paniculate, with small white or purple pink, resupinate flowers, lhe lip clearly and deeply 3-lobed. Epidendrum apatotylosum Hágsater, endemic from Costa Rica, also has non-resupinale flowers but these are purple-red, the leaves oblong-elliptic, and the lip wider and flabellate." adapted from E flexuosum Icones plate 1125 Hagsater etal 2008

Synonyms Epidendrum pratense Rchb.f. 1866; Epidendrum radicans var. chiriquense Schltr. 1922; Epidendrum radicans var. fuscatum Rchb.f. 1889; Epidendrum rhizophorum Batem. ex Lindley 1838

References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Bonplandia Rchb.f 1856; Atlas des Orchidees Cultivees Constantin 1920 drawing fide; Repert. Sp. Nov. Regni. Veg. Beih. 17: 39. Panama Schlechter 1922 as E radicans var chiriquense; Repert. Sp. Nov. Regni. Veg. Beih. 19: 125. Costa Rica Schlechter 1923 as E pratense; The Genus Epidendrum Ames 1936; AOS Bulletin Vol 30 No 5 1961 drawing plant only; AOS Bulletin Vol 35 No 4 1966 photo; AOS Bulletin Vol 35 No 10 1966; Die Orchideen 3 Auflage Bd 1 Sonderabdruck aus Schlechter Lieferung 9 513 - 576 Brieger, Maatsch and Senghas 1977 drawing fide; Orquideologia Vol 12 No 1 1977; AOS Bulletin Vol 48 No 4 1979 photo fide; Orquídea (Mexico City), n.s., 7[3]: 1979; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum plate 731 Dodson 1982 drawing fide; Selbyana Vol 10 Orchids of Central America Hamer 1988 drawing fide; Icones Orchidacearum I Plate 40 Hagsater and Salazar 1990 drawing fide; Native Colombian Orchids Vol 2 COS 1991 photo fide; The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Orchids Pridgeon 1992 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 62 No 5 1993 photo fide; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum plate 1433 Atwood 1993 drawing fide; Icones Planetarum Tropicarum plate 1520 Atwood 1993 see notes; AOS Bulletin Vol 63 No 3 1994 photo fide; An Orchid Flora Of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands Ackerman 1995; Orchid Digest Vol 62 #1 1998 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 67 No 9 1998 photo fide; Orchidaceae Antillanae Nir 2000; Manual de las Plantas de Costa Rica Vol 3 Hammel, Grayum, Herrera and Zamora 2003 drawing fide; The Orchids of Cuba Llamacho & Larramendi 2005; Orchids of Mexico Hagsater, Soto, Salazar, Jimenez, Lopez and Dressler 2005 photo fide; AOS Bulletin Vol 75 No 2 2006 photo fide; Icones Orchidacearum Vol 11 Plate 1104 Hagsater & Sanchez 2008; Icones Orchidacearum Vol 11 Plate 1105 Hagsater & Sanchez 2008; Icones Orchidacearum Vol 11 Plate 1125 Hagsater & Sanchez 2008 see recognition section; Icones Orchidacearum Vol 11 Plate 1130 Hagsater & Sanchez 2008 see recognition; Icones Orchidacearum Vol 11 Plate 1171 2008see recognition section Hagsater & Sanchez 2008; Orchid Species of Peru Zelenko Bermudez 2009 photo fide; Orchids of Costa Rica Vol 1 Morales 2009 photo fide; Orchid Digest Vol 75 #1 2011 photo fide; Las Orquideas del Peru Izerskyy & Bezverhov 2011 photo fide; Orchid Digest Vol 76 #2 2012 photo fide; Le Petit Larousse des Orquidees Lecoufle, Barthelemy and Schmidt 2013 photo fide; Orchids of the Department of Valle De Cauca Colombia Vol 2 Kolanowska, Hagsater etal. 2014 photo drawing/photo fide; Guia de Orquideas de Chiapas Carlos Rommel Beutelspacher Baigts 2013 photo fide; Orchid Flora of the Greater Antilles Ackerman 2014; Orchids of Tropical America Meisel 2014 photo fide; Orchid Digest Vol 81 #1 2017 photo fide; Orquideas, Tesoro de Colombia Vol 2 Ortiz & Uribe 2017 drawing/photo fide;