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

Morphological Description

Diagnosis: Plants of Stanhopea are obligate epiphytes because of their rigidly pendent inflorescences. The strongly ridged pseudobulbs are tightly clustered, have small papery bracts that degrade into persistent shreds, and each bears a single, large, stiffly petiolate leaf. The pendent inflorescences are relatively few-flowered and bear large papery bracts that are long persistent. The strongly day-fragrant pendent flowers have an intricate lip that is divided into distinct portions (hypochile, mesochile, epichile).

1 Sepals and petals pure white. ..... S. candida
1 Sepals and petals pale yellow with brown markings. ... S. manriquei

Vegetative Morphology

Habit: Large caespitose epiphytes. Roots thick, white. Pseudobulbs ovoid, usually deeply ridged, subtended by persistent dry bract remnants.

Leaves: Leaves solitary, erect, elliptic, rigid, parchment-like, petiolate.

Reproductive Morphology

Inflorescence: Inflorescences basal, pendent, few-flowered, usually chandelier-like racemes, the peduncle bracts and floral bracts prominent, papery, brown, oftne inflated.

Flowers: Flowers showy, typically extremely fragrant, lasting for only a few days. Sepals and petals free, spreading, usually +/- reflexed. Lip fleshy, rigid, complex, divided into a hypochile, mesochile and epichile, the hypochile usually saccate, the mesochile usually with a pair of conspicuous incurved horns subequal in length to the epichile. Column elongate, subequal to the lip, straight or arching, with wide membranaceous wings, often with apical teeth; pollinia 2, each with a longitudinal groove, on a common short stipe and large viscidium.