Lepanthes orion Luer & R. Escobar 1985 SUBGENUS Lepanthes SECTION Lepanthes SUBSECTION Lepanthes SERIES Lepanthes

Photo by Jay Pfahl

TYPE Drawing

TYPE drawing by Carl Luer


Common Name Orion's Lepanthes [refers to the mythological giant figure, in allusion to the size of the flower]

Flower Size .44" x .8" [1.1 cm x 2 cm]

Found in the eastern cordillera of Colombia and central Ecuador in cloud forests at elevations of 2000 to 2800 meters as a small sized, cold growing lithophyte or epiphyte with slender to stout, erect, ramicauls enveloped completely by 11 to 18, tan, glabrous, lepanthiform sheaths carrying a single, apical, thinly coriaceous, prominently veined beneath, ovate, acute, acuminate, basally rounded and contracted into a petiolate base leaf that blooms in the late spring through fall on a filiform, very congested, disitchous, 1.12 to 2" [2.8 to 5 cm] long including the .72 to 1.6" [1.8 to 4 cm] long peduncle, successively, single, many flowered, racemose inflorescence.

Disitnguished by the pale, glabrous sheaths of the ramicauls, a thin ovate, acuminate leaf witha very congested raceme borne on the back surface of the leaf, obtuse sepals, oblong lobes of the petals and the thick carinate blades of the lip. The thick protuberant body bearsd a thin fan-shaped appendix in contact with the ventral stigma." Luer 1996

There are 2 other species within Colombia that can be confused with this species, L auriculata which has much more acute sepals and an appendix that is pubescent and oblong and L steyermarkii which differs in a protuberant, shortly ciliate, obtuse sinus which is held beneath the stigma.


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; * AOS Bulletin Vol 54 No 3 Luer & Escobar 1985 photo/drawing fide; Native Colombian Orchids Vol 2 COS 1991 photo fide; 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; Icones Pleurothallidinarum Vol XXXII Luer 2012 drawing fide; Orchids, A Colombian Treasure Vol 3 Ortiz & Uribe 2019 drawingphoto fide;

Checked type drawing on W3Tropicos and Luer OK