Lepanthes tibouchinicola Luer & R.Escobar 1983

SECTION Lepanthes SUBSECTION Lepanthes SERIES Elongatae 1993

Plant in situ Antioquia Colombia 5/6/14

Plant in situ Antioquia Colombia 5/6/14

Photos by Jay Pfahl

TYPE Drawing

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


Original Drawing by Padre Pedro Ortiz Conserved at the Herbario de la Universidad Javeriana Bogota Colombia

Common Name The Tibouchina-Loving Lepanthes [A tree commonly called Siete-cueros or 7 Skin tree]

Flower Size .2" [5mm]

Found in Antioquia department of Colombia in cold temperate forests at elevations around 2500 to 2800 meters as a mini-miniature sized, cold growing epiphyte with erect, slender ramicauls enveloped by 3 to 4 close, microscopically scabrous lepanthiform sheaths and carrying a single, apical, erect, coriaceous, narrowly elliptical, narrowly cuneate below into the subpetiolate base leaf that blooms in the spring on a progressively lengthening, secund, sublaxly, to 9.2" [23 cm] long including the 2 to 2.8" [5 to 7 cm] long peduncle, successively 2 to 3, many flowered, racemose inflorescence with as long as the ovary floral bracts.

This species grows exclusively on Tibouchina trees known in Colombia as Sietecueros which tranlated ,means 7 skins.A very noticable Lepanthes, as the 2 to 3 open at a time, orange flowers are quite large in height [almost 1/2" tall]. This is an unmistakable Lepanthes as it has no close relatives. I found it on ridge tops at elevations around 2700 meters in semi-dense clumps of smaller Tibouchina trees.


References W3 Tropicos, Kew Monocot list , IPNI ; * AOS Bulletin Vol 52 No 12 1983 Drawing/photo fide; Native Colombian Orchids Vol 5 COS 1994 photo fide; Icones Pleurothallidinarum Vol XXXII Luer 2012 drawing fide; Orchids, A Colombian Treasure Vol 3 Ortiz & Uribe 2019 drawing/photo fide; Checked tropicos type OK