Lepanthes tetrapus Baquero & J.S.Moreno 2018 SUBGENUS Lepanthes SECTION Lepanthes SUBSECTION Lepanthes SERIES Lepanthes

Side View of Flower

TYPE Drawing

Photos/TYPE Drawing by © Luis E. Baquero

Full Shade WarmSpring

Common Name The Four Footed Lepanthes [refers to the four filiform lobes of the petals]

Flower Size .12" [3 mm]

Found in Carchi province of Ecuador in low elevation cloud-forest at elevations around 754 meters as a mini-miniature sized warm growing epiphyte with erect ramicauls enveloped by 3 to 5 minutely ciliate, keeled, lepanthiform sheaths with minutely ciliate, ovate, acuminate and slightly dilated ostia and carrying a single, apical, coriaceous, elliptic-ovate, subacute, light green, prominently reticulated along the veins, veined in purple, the base cuneate into the petiolate base leaf that blooms at least in the late summer and early fall on a congested, distichous, glabrous, peduncle terete, .24" [6 mm] long, arising on top of the leaf, shorter than to as long as the leaves, up to .72" [1.8 cm] long, successively single, few flowered inflorescence with acute, shorter than the pedicel Floral bracts.

"Lepanthes tetrapus is very similar in habit and flowers to L. hexapus, and L. aguirrei Luer . Both species, L. hexapus and L. aguirrei, have erect leaves with purple reticulations, the inflorescence shorter than the leaf, flowers with essentially free sepals and trifurcate petals, and plants which are small for the genus. Nevertheless, the two species differ in the size of the plants (taller in L. aguirrei, with ramicauls reaching 1.8" [4.5 cm] vs. .8" [2 cm] long in L. hexapus) and the apex of the sepals, which is stoutly caudate in L. aguirrei and acute in L. hexapus. Lepanthes tetrapus is similar to both species, sharing all the characteristics mentioned above except for the two filiform lobes of each petal instead of three. Due to the characteristic shape of the petal lobes and the apex of the lip, this species has been known so far as the “biohazard” Lepanthes, due to the remarkable similarity with the international alert symbol [see main photo above]. This similarity might visually help to immediately distinguish L. tetrapus from any other species in the genus.Lepanthes tetrapus is vegetatively and floraly similar to from which it differs by the petals with two curved, filiform lobes instead of three." Baquero etal 2018


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; *Lankesteriana 18: 183 Baquero & J S Moreno 2018 drawing/photo fide