Lepanthes ornithocephala L.Jost & Luer 2005 SUBGENUS Lepanthes SECTION Lepanthes SUBSECTION Lepanthes SERIES Lepanthes

Side View of Flower

Photos by Lou Jost

TYPE Drawing

Drawing by Carl Luer and The Swiss Orchid Foundation at the Jany Renz Herbaria Website


Common Name The Bird's Head Lepanthes[refers to the appendix shape]

Flower Size .16" [4 mm]

Found in Tungarahua and Napo provinces of Ecuador at elevations around 1500 to 1700 meters as a miniature sized, cool growing, caespitose epiphyte with a very slender, pendent ramicaul enveloped by 5 to 7, tight fitting, sparsely short-ciliate lepanthiform sheaths carrying a single, apical, pendent, erect in relation to the ramicaul, coriaceous, green suffused with red, elliptical-ovate, shortly acuminate, sharply contracted below into the petiolate base leaf that blooms in the late summer and early fall on a filiform, arising on the back of the leaf, congested, distichous, 1.4" [3.5 cm] long, successively many flowered inflorescence carrying amuricate, shorter than the pedicel floral bract.

"Similar to L benzingii with the same pendent habit, slendre ramicauls and the shape of the leaves. The flower colors are olso identical. However the floral details are quite different, this species has much broader, rounder petals and a relatively longer column and lip. Most distinctive is the elaborate appendix, resempling a hooded bird skull on a long star. This species occure in the same general area but is found at slightly higer elevations." Luer 2005


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; * Icones Pleurothallidinarum Vol XXVII Systematics of Dryadella Systematics of Macrophyllae-Fasciculatae Luer 2005 drawing fide; Flora of Ecuador No 88 Lepanthes and affiliates Dodson & Luer 2011 drawing fide