Epidendrum L.

Representative Image
Representative image.

Kingdom: Plantae Rank: Genus Parent: Orchidaceae Status: Valid

Morphological Description

Diagnosis: Highly variable vegetatively and in the structure of the inflorescences, but nearly all species have the lip fused with the column for the length of the column forming a slender internal nectary. The lips may be unlobed, 3-lobed, or 4-lobulate by having a deeply cleft midlobe. Most species have a pair of knob-like globose or keeled calli at the base of the lip.

1 Inflorescences axillary. ... ##
1’ Inflorescences terminal. .... ##

Vegetative Morphology

Habit: Extremely diverse epiphytes, lithophytes and terrestrials. Rhizomes short to long-trailing or pendent.

Main axis: Stems erect to pendent, pseudobulbous or cane-like, simple to many-branched. Leaves one to many, alternate, distichous, leathery, often clustered toward the stem apex.

Reproductive Morphology

Inflorescence: Inflorescences terminal, rarely axillary, sessile to long-pedunculate, racemes or panicles, often subtended by a spathe, the floral bracts minute to conspicuous.

Flowers: Flowers usually produced simultaneously, sometimes produced in succession, usually resupinate, highly variable in color and markings. Sepals and petals free, the petals usually much narrower than the sepals. Lip unlobed to three-lobed, the midlobe often deeply bilobulate, usually fused to the column, rarely free, forming an internal nectary with the column, +/- callus, the callus often a pair of fleshy knobs at the junction of the lip and column. Column variable, usually club-shaped, often arching, without foot and usually without wings, the clinandrium low and smooth to hooded and variously toothed and fimbriate; pollinia 4, on caudicles, sometimes with a weakly defined viscidium.