Lepanthes melpomene Luer & Hirtz 1996 SUBGENUS Lepanthes SECTION Lepanthes SUBSECTION Lepanthes SERIES Lepanthes

Photo courtesy of Lisa Thoerle

cf melomene differs in the longer recurved tails larger and heavier petals and in the pilose leaf

Photo by Milan Vagner

cf melomene Side View of Flower

Photo by Lourens Grobler

TYPE Drawing

TYPE drawing by Carl Luer


Common Name Melpomene's Lepanthes [Greek Muse of Tragedy]

Flower Size .2" [5 mm]

Found only in southeastern Ecuador in cold cloud forests at elevations around 2200 to 2700 meters as a miniature sized, cold growing epiphyte with a sub-erect, slender ramicaul enveloped basally by 10 to 15, long-ciliate lepanthiform sheaths carrying a single, thickly coriaceous, apical, elliptic-ovate, purple suffused leaf with the base cuneate into a petiole that blooms in the late winter through summer on a slender, .4" [1 cm] long peduncle, lying in the sulcus on top of the leaf, congested, secund, .8" [2 cm] long, successively single, many flowered, racemose inflorescence with as longas the pedicel floral bracts.

"Similar in habit to L manabina and its relatives with the thick, heavy, dark green, more or less pendent leaves. The leaves are sulcate centrally wherein is borne the ghoulish appearing flower. The denticulate sepals are acuminate, the upper lobes of the petals are obliquely truncate, the blades of the lip, adherent over the column, are narrowly oblong and the minute appendix is arrow-shaped." Luer 1996


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; Icones Pleurothallidinarum Vol XIV Systematics of Draconanthes, Lepanthes subgenus Marsipanthes and subgenus Lepanthes of Ecuador Luer 1996 drawing fide; Flora of Ecuador No 88 Lepanthes and affiliates Dodson & Luer 2011 drawing fide

Checked type drawing W3Tropicos OK