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New Ecuadorian Cyrtochilum Species

Authors:
  • National Biodiversity Centre, Thimphu, Bhutan; Lankester Botanical Garden, University of Costa Rica
Article

New Ecuadorian Cyrtochilum Species

Abstract

With publication of the latest volume of the Flora of Ecuador in September 2010, there are now 10 new Cyrtochilum species.
nomenclature notes
New Ecuadorian Cyrtochilum Species
A Summary of 10 Recently Described Taxa/By Wesley E. Higgins and Stig Dalström
500  ORCHIDS AUGUST 2011 www.AOS.Org
Stig Dalström
Wesley E. Higgins
in reference to the stunted column of the
flower. This obscure little species is only
known from the original collection by
S. Dalström and Thomas Höijer, and is
not likely to be recollected anytime soon
due to the insignificant appearance. In
addition, it was found in an area near the
Colombian border considered unsafe for
foreigners to visit. Cyrtochilum colobium
is similar to many other small, brown-
flowered species in the genus, and differs
morphologically in minor floral features
only. The combination of these features sets
it apart, however. Floristically, the column
of Cyr. colobium resembles Cyrtochilum
confertum or Cyrtochilum gracile, but it
is shorter. The lip of Cyr. colobium is also
much smaller and elliptic, with the typical,
omnipresent callus occupying much of the
surface. The diminutive plant habit read-
ily distinguishes Cyr. colobium from both
the other species as well. It appears most
closely related to Cyrtochilum sphinx, and
may prove conspecific if additional mate-
rial is ever encountered, but the plump,
runt-like column of Cyr. colobium seems
different enough to justify specific status
for the time being.
Cyrtochilum ferrugineum Dalström
& D.Trujillo, Fl. Ecuador 87:74 (76–77; fig.
24), 2010.
The name comes from the Latin “fer-
rugo” or “ferrugineus” meaning “rust” or
“rust-colored” in reference to the color
of the sepals and petals. The plant was
originally collected by Benigno Malo and
flowered in cultivation by Steve Beckend-
orf. This is an insignificant species, similar
to Cyr. colobium and Cyr. sphinx in size and
general appearance. It can be distinguished
from those species by the ventral lobes of
the column ending below the stigmatic
surface, and from the larger Cyrtochilum
longifolium by the smaller habit and differ-
ent-colored flowers with a shorter column.
Cyrtochilum ferrugineum is easily distin-
guished from Cyrtochilum graminoides
by the slightly longer and clavate column
versus a longitudinally almost triangular
column for Cyr. graminoides.
Cyrtochilum flavostellulare Dal-
ström, Fl. Ecuador 87: 80 (–82; fig. 26),
2010.
The name comes from the Latin
ECUADOR IS FLORISTICALLY THE
richest country in South America with
around 230 plant families and an estimated
number of species between 16,000 and
S. DALSTRÖM
123
18,000. The land
rises from sea level
to more than 20,564
feet (6,268 m) el-
evation and the veg-
etation varies from
xerophytic scrub to
rainforest and high-
Andean páramos.
These diverse eco-
logical conditions
create the richness
of the Ecuadorian
flora. The genus
Cyrtochilum oc -
curs as epiphytes
or terrestrials in the
moist cloud for-
ests at elevations
of 1,650–11,500 feet (500–3,500 m) in
Ecuador. With publication of the latest
volume of the Flora of Ecuador (Harling
et al. 2010) in September 2010, there are
now 10 new Cyrtochilum species (Dodson
and Luer 2010).
Cyrtochilum colobium Dalström, Fl.
Ecuador 87:51 (–52; fig. 13), 2010.
The name comes fro m t he Greek
“kolos” meaning “shortened, stunted”
S. DALSTRÖM
[1] Cyrtochilum ferrugineum, a rarely en-
countered species in Ecuador, is more
common in northern Peru.
[2] Cyrtochilum colobium is found in an area
near the Colombian border considered
unsafe to visit.
[3] The floral morphology (shape) of Cyr-
tochilum fredericae, an attractive little
species, connects some members of the
former genus Neodryas (= Cyrtochilum)
with Cyrtochilum graminoides and Cyrto-
chilum hoeijeri.
S. DALSTRÖM
www.AOS.Org AUGUST 2011 ORCHIDS  501
“flavus” meaning yellow and “stellulare”
meaning “small star” in reference to the
small, yellow, star-shaped callus of the lip
of the flower. Cyrtochilum flavostellulare
is a showy species with large and brightly
colored flowers, similar those of the vari-
able Cyrtochilum macranthum. The color
of the lip of Cyr. flavostellulare appears
to be brownish as opposed to the brightly
yellow and purple lip of Cyr. macranthum.
The callus of the lip appears rather similar,
but in Cyr. macranthum, it is strikingly
white and purple with the basal two spread-
ing projections, or teeth, larger, and often
slightly falcate, versus unicolored yellow,
smaller and straighter projections, or teeth,
for Cyr. flavostellulare, where the apical
projections often are slightly larger than
the basal ones. This plant was originally
collected by Julian Steyermark.
Cyrtochilum fredericae Dalström, Fl.
Ecuador 87:86 (88; fig. 29), 2010.
This species is named in honor of
Friederike König, of Vienna, Austria. The
original collector was S. Dalström and the
plant was cultivated and flowered by Ecua-
genera. Only a couple of plants of this pretty
little species have been seen, collected in
an area known for a rich diversity of Cyr-
tochilum species. Cyrtochilum fredericae
is interesting because it morphologically
connects some more typical “odontoglos-
soid” species, such as Cyr. graminoides
and Cyrtochilum hoeijeri, with Cyrtochi-
lum rhodoneurum, which is distinguished
by bright orange to red colors and fused
lateral sepals. Cyrtochilum fredericae is
distinguished by the combination of orange
flowers with spreading lateral sepals.
Cyrtochilum hirtziiDalström, Fl.
Ecuador 87:86 (88; fig. 29), 2010.
Named in honor of Alejandro Hirtz
of Quito, Ecuador, who collected the spe-
cies and has contributed substantially to
the understanding and discovery of many
Ecuadorian plants. Cyrtochilum hirtzii is an
attractive species, similar to the sympatric
Cyrtochilum halteratum, but easily distin-
guished by the more complex, denticulate
and digitate callus of the lip. The structure
of the callus resembles the lip callus of the
equally sympatric Cyrtochilum cuencanum
and, at this time, the possibility of a natural
hybrid origin for Cyrtochilum hirtzii cannot
be ruled out. Cyrtochilum cuencanum dif-
fers from Cyr. hirtzii by the nonauriculate
sepals and the wingless column.
Cyrtochilum midasDalström, Fl.
Ecuador 87: 136 (–138; fig. 50), 2010.
This species is named for the mytho-
logical Greek King Midas, whose touch
turned everything into gold, in reference
to the flowers changing from white to
yellow with age. Alejandro Hirtz originally
collected this large plant that is sometimes
collected in the hope that it will bear large
flowers as well. Unfortunately the long and
wiry inflorescence of Cyr. midas only car-
ries smaller flowers scattered on rambling
branches. The basic color of the flowers is
white with some pinkish marking, but the
white soon turns to dull yellow. The effect
of this is that it seems as if two species were
represented on the same inflorescence. The
relatively large and orbiculate bracts (similar
to fish scales) of Cyr. midas suggests that it
is closely related to Cyrtochilum cimiciferum
and Cyrtochilum williamsianum, but it can
easily be distinguished by the larger habit,
and by the somewhat larger and more or less
whitish flowers with pink markings.
Cyrtochilum parvibrachium Dal-
ström, Fl. Ecuador 87:146 (–148; fig.
54). 2010.
This species is named from the Latin
“brachium” meaning “arm” and “par-
4
5
S. DALSTRÖM
ECUAGENERA
[4] The color of the lip of Cyrto. flavostellu-
lare appears to be brownish as opposed
to the brightly yellow and purple lip of
Cyrtochilum macranthum, shown here in
its native habitat.
[5] Cyrtochilum flavostellulare, which is
apparently rare and easily confused with
Cyr. macranthum, but it differs in the
shape and color of the lip callus.
nomenclature notes
502  ORCHIDS AUGUST 2011 www.AOS.Org
vus” meaning “little” in reference to the
small but distinct armlike appendages, or
wings, on the column of the flower. Only
a single collection by Ulf Molau has been
examined. A living plant was cultivated
and flowered at the Botanical Garden in
Gothenburg. The plant habit resembled
a poor Cyrtochilum ramosissimum with
long and straplike leaves and an arching
to rambling paniculate inflorescence. The
insignificant flowers also resembled a poor
Cyr. ramosissimum. The general morphol-
ogy of both the plant and flower resembles
several of the former Odontoglossum spe-
cies that were transferred to Cyrtochilum
(Dalström 2001) as a consequence of DNA
analysis (Williams et al. 2001), but the
flower also shows resemblance to some
more “oncidoid” Cyrtochilum species due
to the more open aspect of the lip–column
relationship. This is good evidence that a
combined method of using morphology,
DNA analysis and any other additional
source of useful information is to be pre-
ferred in order to classify any large and
complex group of plants.
Cyrtochilum sphinx Dalström &
G. Calat., Fl. Ecuador 87:170 (–172; fig.
64), 2010.
This species is named for the enig-
matic Egyptian Sphinx, in reference to
the troublesome and enigmatic taxonomic
background of this species, and also for the
similarity in shape between the column of
the flower and the body of the sculpture.
Cyrtochilum sphinx belongs to a complex
of small-flowered, horticulturally unat-
tractive and visually hard to discover,
insignificant plants that very few collec-
tors probably even notice, hence very
little material is available for study. As a
result, data regarding distribution, ecology,
pollination, etc. are most inconclusive.
This species differs from all other, more
or less similar Cyrtochilum species by the
projecting rostellum in combination with
the broadly rounded ventral lobes of the
column. The original collection was made
by G. Calatayud.
Cyrtochilum tanii Dalström, Fl. Ec-
uador 87:172 (–174; fig. 65), 2010.
This species is named in honor of
Kiat Tan, PhD, first director of the Orchid
Identification Center at the Marie Selby
Botanical Gardens, Sarasota, Florida. The
type plant was collected by Tan together
with Libby Besse and Joe Halton. This
unexpected discovery is the only Cyrtochi-
lum reported from the Monte Cristi area of
Ecuador. Although the field notes unfortu-
nately have been lost, it seems reasonable
to assume that this species, which is closely
related to Cyrtochilum articulatum and
6
7
S. DALSTRÖM
A. HIRTZ
[6] Cyrtochilum midas is named for the
flower color that changes from white to
yellow.
[7] Cyrtochilum hirtzii, a rare species from
the Pastaza valley, may be a natural
hybrid of Cyrtochilum cuencanum and
Cyrtochilum halteratum.
www.AOS.Org AUGUST 2011 ORCHIDS  503
Cyrtochilum flexuosum from the Andean
slopes, most likely is restricted to the thin
level of cloud-forest vegetation on the sum-
mit of the coastal cordillera. Cyrtochilum
tanii is distinguished by the small but
distinct digitate column wings.
Cyrtochilum verrucosum Dal-
ström, Fl. Ecuador 87: 183 (–185; fig.
70), 2010.
This species is named from the Latin
“verrucosus” meaning “full of warts,” in
reference to the fields of warts surround-
ing the apex of the callus on the lip of the
flower. Mark Whitten, PhD, collected the
original plant and it was cultivated and
flowered by Ecuagenera. Cyrtochilum
verrucosum appears rare in nature, and is
consequently uncommon both in living
collections and herbaria. Considering the
rather large plant with the smallish, dull
greenish brown flowers, it seems unlikely
that this status will ever change. Cyrto-
chilum verrucosum is easily distinguished
from vegetatively and morphologically
similar (and just as horticulturally un-
interesting) species by the rather erect
column in combination with the gibbous
basal callus, which terminates in widely
spreading, distinct angles, flanked by the
carpetlike verrucosities, for which the spe-
cies is named.
Cyrtochilum is a genus of approxi-
mately 140 species distributed from Puerto
Rico to Bolivia, via the Andean region. The
genus is characterized by ovoid, sometimes
slightly compressed pseudobulbs with a
generally rather dull surface, often sur-
rounded by large foliaceous, distichous
bracts, sometimes concealing the pseu-
dobulbs entirely; the roots are relatively
thick. The pollinia are relatively small to
minute, elliptic, pulvinate with a ventrally
flattened viscidium; a variable, short and
often relatively broad stipe; and large
caudicles. Seventy-two species and one,
possibly two, natural hybrids are currently
recognized from Ecuador.
References
Dalström, S. 2001. A Synopsis of the Genus Cyrtochilum
(Orchidaceae; Oncidiinae): Taxonomic Reevaluation and
New Combinations. Lindleyana 16(2):56–80.
Dodson, C.H. and C.A. Luer. 2010. Orchidaceae, Genera
Cyrtochiloides–Epibator. In: G. Harling, W. Andersson
and B. Lennart, editors. Flora of Ecuador. Department
of Systematic Botany and the Section for Botany, Uni-
versity of Goteborg, Riksmuseum, Stockholm.
Harling, G., W. Andersson and B. Lennart, editors. 2010.
Flora of Ecuador. Department of Systematic Botany
and the Section for Botany, University of Goteborg,
Riksmuseum, Stockholm.
Williams, N.H., M.W. Chase, T. Fulcher and W.M. Whit-
ten. 2001. Molecular Systematics of the Oncidiinae
Based on Evidence from Four DNA Regions: Expanded
Circumscriptions of Cyrtochilum, Erycina, Otoglossum
and Trichocentrum and a New Genus (Orchidaceae).
Lindleyana 16:113–139.
98
10
S. DALSTRÖM
[8] Cyrtochilum sphinx named for the
similarity in shape between the column
of the flower and the body of the sphinx
sculpture.
[9] Cyrtochilum verrucosum is a rare and
little-known species with an undocu-
mented distribution.
[10] Cyrtochilum pardinum is an epiphyte or
terrestrial in wet to semiwet montane
forest and along roadsides in shrubby
areas at elevations of 6,560–12,450 feet
(2,000–3,800 m).
Wesley E. Higgins, PhD, was the recipient
of an American Orchid Society fellowship.
He is an AOS taxonomic authority and an
AOS accredited judge. He serves on the
Publications Committee and coordinates
the Nomenclatural Notes column, for which
he periodically writes. 5317 Delano Court,
Cape Coral, Florida 33904 (e-mail hig-
gins@alumni.ufl.edu).
Stig Dalström is a research associate of
Lankester Botanical Garden, University of
Costa Rica, and of the Centro de Investig-
ación en Orquídeas de los Andes: Angel An-
dreetta, Gualaceo, Ecuador. 2304 Ringling
Boulevard, Apartment 119, Sarasota, Florida
34237 (e-mail stigdalstrom@juno.com).
S. DALSTRÖM
... The structure of the callus resembles the lip callus of the equally sympatric C. cuencanum and, at this time, the possibility of a natural hybrid origin for C. hirtzii cannot be ruled out. Cyrtochilum cuencanum differs from C. hirtzii by the nonauriculate sepals and the wingless column (Higgins & Dalström, 2011). It is somewhat similar to C. orozcoi from which it differs by the dorsal sepal (reniform in C. orozcoi), the lip callus (complicated consisting of narrow central ridge flanked by two ridges, apically more or less dissected in C. orozcoi) and the gynostemium appendages (obliquely obtriangular in C. orozcoi). ...
Article
Full-text available
This article is a presentation of taxonomic diversity of the orchid genusCyrtochilumin Northwestern South America. The morphological characteristics of over 90 speciesoccurring in northern Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela are presentedtogether with illustrations of theirfloral segments. Information about the distributionof each taxon is provided. Ten morphologically consistent groups have beendelineated to facilitate identification ofCyrtochilumrepresentatives in the studiedarea. Keys for determination of species within each group are provided. Seven newspecies ofCyrtochilumare described and one new combination is proposed.
Synopsis of the Genus Cyrtochilum (orchidaceae; oncidiinae): Taxonomic reevaluation and New Combinations
  • S Dalström
Dalström, S. 2001. a Synopsis of the Genus Cyrtochilum (orchidaceae; oncidiinae): Taxonomic reevaluation and New Combinations. Lindleyana 16(2):56-80.
orchidaceae, Genera Cyrtochiloides-Epibator
  • C H Dodson
  • C A Luer
Dodson, C.H. and C.a. Luer. 2010. orchidaceae, Genera Cyrtochiloides-Epibator. In: G. Harling, W. andersson and B. Lennart, editors. Flora of Ecuador. Department of Systematic Botany and the Section for Botany, university of Goteborg, riksmuseum, Stockholm.
Flora of Ecuador. Department of Systematic Botany and the Section for Botany, university of Goteborg, riksmuseum
  • G Harling
  • B Lennart
Harling, G., W. andersson and B. Lennart, editors. 2010. Flora of Ecuador. Department of Systematic Botany and the Section for Botany, university of Goteborg, riksmuseum, Stockholm.