Phragmipedium Taxonomy According to Olaf Gruss

Gruss, Olaf. A Checklist of the Genus Phragmipedium. Orchid Digest. Oct., Nov., Dec., 2000, pp. 213-41.
Quene, Rober-Jan W., Gruss, Olaf. Phragmipedium brasiliense, A New Species of the Section Lorifolia from Brazil. Orchid Digest. Oct., Nov., Dec., 2000, pp. 242-43.

(Type Species)
Species var. / fma. Synonyms Chrom. # Distribution Characteristics
(P. caudatum)
"Plants in this section share the following traits: long, trailing petals are much longer than sepals; flowers open nearly simultaneously. Species within this section are quite similar morphologically, indicating a close relationship. This is supported by the work of Karasawa, who determined that all species known at the time of his analysis have the same chromosome number."
  P. caudatum     2n = 28 Ecuador, Peru, possibly Colombia "A large number of varieties or geographical forms of this species appear in the literature, the main difference being flower color and size. In addition, several varieties have been described that today are classified as distinct species by a few authors and by the International Registration Authority of Orchid Hybrids."
var. wallisii P. wallisii 2n = 28 Ecuador, Colombia "The variety is distinguished from the normal form of P. caudatum by the following traits: staminode three-loved, acuminate lateral lobes arching backwards; mouth of labellum yellow, spotted brown; margin of petals glabrous; smaller flowers."
var. warscewiczianum P. warscewiczianum
P. humboldtii
  Guatemala, possibly Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica "Dark green leaves shorter and wider than those of other members of the section; usually only one to three flowers; flower color is more dark brown; staminode smooth, and long trapezoid to almost rhomboid in shape; mouth of labellum is yellow-brown."
P. exstaminodium     Mexico, Chiapas Missing the staminode; trait stable under artificial propagation.
P. lindenii   2n = 28 Colombia, Ecuador, possibly Venezuela Similar to other species within Section Phragmipedium, except for the missing labellum.
(P. caricinum)
"Species are characterized by their sedge-like leaves and the missing protuberances along the entire border of the mouth of the labellum." Flowers open sequentially, except for P. tetzlaffianum. "Petals of the fully open flowers are two to three times as long as the dorsal sepal. While P. klotzscheanum occurs only in Venezuela and Guiana, all other members of the section inhabit the Andes at fairly high elevations."
  P. caricinum   2n = 21, 22 Bolivia "Hirsute synsepalum shorter than the dorsal sepal; heart-shaped staminode hirsute at the base, with density of hairs declining toward center. The habit of the medium-sized species is quite constant, although there is a somewhat larger form whose flower size is the same as in the normal form."
P. christiansenianum     Colombia (without precise location) "The species is similar to P. pearcei, but differs in the following traits: closely placed pseudobulbs; somewhat longer and wider leaves; glabrous inflorescence; wider bracts; larger cream-greenish flowers with natural spread of about 12.0 cm; relatively narrower dorsal sepal (5.2 x 1.9 cm); downswept stance of the much longer and narrower labellum; reverse elliptical staminode with violet-brown hispid hairs on the sides and on top; curved ovary of about 5.0 cm in length."
P. klotzscheanum     Southeast Venezuela, neighboring areas of Brazil and Guyana "Ovary and pedicel are densely and velvety hirsute; petals are glabrous; wide cordate staminode; distant stems…. In nature, these plants grow in running water all year long, and hence require a medium that is kept wet by moving water."
P. pearcei P. ecuadorense 2n = 22 Eastern part of Ecuador into Colombia "Half-oval to cordate staminode; hispid base of staminode with usually glabrous (like eyebrows) central part; distant pseudobublbs."
P. richteri P. amazonica
P. peruviana
P. ecuadorense
  Peru "Due to the size of the plant and the length of their sedge-like leaves, plants of P. richteri are easily identified. Their growth habit is very much like that of P. xroethianum, for which they can be mistaken.... The species differs from the other members of the Section Himantopetalum by the following traits: sedge-like leaves up to 70 cm in length; reverse-elliptic staminode with short horn at lower margin; intensely black-brown hairs elsewhere; an occasionally branched inflorescence. The inflorescence can be up to 140 cm tall. In cultivation, these inflorescences can be in flower for up to 18 months, with one to two blooms open at any given time."
P. tetzlaffianum     Probably the Venezuelan-Colombian border region "This species differs from P. richteri by: a small number of leaves per growth; bigger flowers; longer and more intensely colored petals with short red hairs at the apex; synsepalum longer than labellum, oval staminode, dense growth of hairs on upper margin and thin growth of hair on lateral and lower margin; larger number of simultaneously open flowers on an upright inflorescense."
(P. lindleyanum)
"Species of the Section Platypetalum are characterized by the different shapes of their sepals and petals. They differ very little in the shape of the staminode, the labellum and the leaf color."
  P. lindleyanum     2n = 22 ? "Long, belt-shaped leaves with yellow margins; the natural spread of flowers ranges from 7.0 to 9.0 cm; circular mouth of labellum; delta-shaped staminode with clearly visible acumen at lower margin."
var. kaieteurum P. kaieteurum   Guyana, Venezuela "Short, spathulate leaves without yellow margins; triangular staminode with blund and round acumen; the corners of the labellum's opening are proximally blotched (P. lindleyanum has no such blotches). According to current knowledge, this plant is considered to be a small-growing variety, or perhaps only a form, of P. lindleyanum. A final disposition will require analysis of several plants in situ. Unfortunately, such plant material is currently not available."
var. sargentianum P. sargentianum 2n = 22 Northeastern Brazil "Uniformly green leaves; almost square staminode; nearly square labellum opening with rounded corners."
(P. longifolium)
"Petals are two to three times as long as sepals; petals are fully developed when flower opens; labellum has a pair of horn shaped protuberances on both sides of the opening; racemose stalk; flowers open consecutively, with two or more flowers rarely open at the same time."
  P. longifolium     2n = 23 Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador "There are strong similarities with other species and varieties of Section Lorifolia. These differ from P. longifolium in the following traits: from P. hartwegii by an inclined oval, barely hirsute staminode with rounded acumen; from P. longifolium var. roezlii by a labellum with dentate margin; from P. boissierianum and its varieties through the crisped margins of the petals."
fma. gracile   2n = 23   Smaller plant size with flowers approaching normal size.
var. roezlii P. roezlii 2n = 22 Colombia, possibly Costa Rica and Panama Has "wider leaves; more acuminate sepals that are suffused rose; petals with red margins; smaller, more triangular-shaped staminode; dentate to warty proximal margin of labellum."
var. roezlii fma. minutum       Shorter height, flowers nearly as large as normal form.
var. chapadense P. chapadense   Brazil "As in the following translation of the original description: 'Relative to the colors of the petals, the narrowly infolded lateral lobes of the labellum, the shape of the bracts and the color and shape of the ovary the flowers are somewhat similar to those of Phrag. hartwegii (Rolfe) Pfitzer from Ecuador. However, with Phrag. chapadense the labellum is wider that the infolded lateral lobes, whereas with Phrag. hartwegii they are about equal in width. The staminode of Phrag. chapadense has an elliptical shape with noticeable black hairs on the upper margin, while Phrag. hartwegii has a somewhat smaller reverse cordate staminode with much less noticeable hairs. The color of the labellum of Phrag. chapadense is chestnut brown, whereas that of Phrag. hartwegii is greenish or yellowish.'"
P. hartwegii     2n = 20 Ecuador "Ligulate leaves without yellow coloration on the margins; staminode reverse elliptic, proximally acuminate, upper margin barely visibly hispid; proximal margin of labellum repandus, sepals and petals paler than those of P. longifolium, but often suffused with rose."
fma. baderi       "This form differs from the normal form by its small plant size and the almost lanceolate leaves. Flowers reach almost normal size. This small form appears quite frequently in cultivation; the normal form is seldom seen."
P. boissierianum     2n = 28 Peru "Leaves without yellow margins; petals with undulate margins; proximally rounded labellum without central groove; rhombic, triangular staminode. P. boissierianum differs from P. longifolium and P. hartwegii by the strongly undulate margins of its petals."
var. czerwiakowianum P. czerwiakowianum   Huanuca in Peru, Southern Ecuador "Petals with strongly undulate margins and reflexed acumen; synsepalum expressly larger than labellum; staminode wider than labellum opening; staminode reverse elliptic-rhombic, proximally accuminate; upper and lateral margins pilose."
var. reticulatum     Ecuador, Peru "Ligulate leaves without yellow margins; strongly undulate margins of petals; barely reflexed acumen and margins of sepals; reverse elliptic, reniform, five- or six-edged staminode with blunt corners narrower than base of labellum; two lobed, proximally flat labellum with central groove."
P. hirtzii     Northwestern Ecuador and Southwestern Colombia "Differ markedly from other members of the section and from the natural hybrid P. xroethianum by their caespitose growth and glabrous staminode."
P. vittatum   2n = 18 Brazil, Bolivia "Leaves with markedly yellow margins; sepals with entire margins; proximally rounded labellum without central groove; cordate triangular staminode."
P. brasiliense     Brazil "Similar to Phragmipedium vittatum (Vell.) Rolfe but differs by having distinctly longer ligulate leaves, longer branched inflorescences with up to 24 flowers, a synsepalum shorter than the pouch, intensively spotted side lobes of the pouch and a transverse obvoate staminode with a small triangular tip."
(P. schlimii)
"The species in this section have: petals that are similar to the dorsal sepal in shape and color, but are larger; petals that are broader than those of other species of the genus, and are not elongated like a tape."
  P. schlimii     2n = 30 Colombia "White lanceolate to ligulate leaves; wide petals almost oval to round and never acuminate; sepals similar to petals in shape but smaller."
fma. albiflorum     "Pure white sepals and petals; labellum with white base color and opening with markedly red margin; staminode with occasional red blotch." Very rare color form.
P. fischeri P. schlimii var. fischeri   Ecuador "While the flower is very similar to that of P. schlimii, the plant has shorter and more horizontal leaves, similar to those of P. besseae. The flowers are more intensely colored than those of P. schlimii, and the staminode is differently shaped."
P. besseae     2n = 24 Ecuador, Peru "Small elliptical leaves; long rhizomes between growths; broad, almost oval petals; luminous orange-red to strongly salmon red sepals and petals. Depending on the locality, this species varies considerably in color and shape of the flowers."
fma. flavum   2n = 24, 25, 26 Peru "This form corresponds exactly to the normal form coming from Peru, except that the flowers are completely yellow, without any trace of red."
P. dalessandroi P. besseae var. dalessandroi 2n = 28 Southern Ecuador "Closely spaced stems; wooly, often branched inflorescences; drooping petals; rhombic staminode; bilobed at apex; flower color ranges from orange to red. Width and the degree of drooping of the petals, as well as the intensity of hairiness of the flowers, are quite variable.... This grex is highly desirable for hybridizing purposes; offspring exhibit compact growth and a lack [of] the climbing trait of P. besseae."
P. kovachii P. peruviana   Peru "This species differs from P. besseae by its unusually large flowers and their intensive coloration, as well as the plant habit."

Information used with the permission of Olaf Gruss
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Page Created By: Stephen Manza
Last Updated: 11-29-05