Lepanthes orion Luer & R. Escobar 1985

SUBGENUS Lepanthes SECTION Lepanthes SUBSECTION Lepanthes SERIES Lepanthes Novon 1993

Photo by Jay Pfahl


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.

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 XIV Systematics of Draconanthes Lepanthe Subgenus Marsupianthes and Subgenus Lepanthes of Ecuador Luer 1996 drawing ok; 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