Common name: Crucifix Orchid, Reed-stem Epidendrum
Epidendrum radicans x secundum hybrid complex APNI*
Description: Erect to scandent terrestrial or lithophytic herb with terete, reed-like stems, usually c. 1 m long but rarely up to 10 m in length, c. 5 mm diameter, concealed by coriaceous leaf sheaths 1.5–2.5 cm long, with aerial roots originating from some of the nodes.
Leaves numerous, spreading, leathery, narrowly ovate-oblong to oblong-elliptical to lanceolate, rounded and obliquely retuse at apex, 1.5–12 cm long, 0.6–4 cm wide.
Flowers numerous, red, orange or yellow, non-resupinate, borne on long-lived, successively flowering terminal racemes; peduncle to 45 cm long; rachis to 15 cm long. Pedicel and ovary 2–4 cm long. Sepals spreading, obovate to oblong-elliptical, 10–22 mm long, 4–7.5 mm wide. Lateral petals obovate-elliptical to oblong-elliptical, with minutely undulate-crenate margins, 12–20 mm long, 5–8 mm wide. Labellum deeply 3-lobed, 7–17 mm long, 11–17 mm wide, the midlobe retuse to deeply bilobed at apex, lobes with lacerate margins; callus 3-horned. Column ±straight.
Fruits obliquely ellipsoid, 2.5–4 cm long.
Flowering: All months
Distribution and occurrence: Near-coastal areas north of Sydney; Qld. A man-made hybrid complex, bred from species native to tropical Central and South America.
Occasionally naturalized in open disturbed sites, in frost-free areas.
NSW subdivisions: *NC, *CC
Other Australian states: *Qld
Often treated as E. ibaguense Kunth, E. radicans or E. x obrienianum. From the former two species it differs in having non-resupinate flowers. It also differs from E. ibaguense in rooting from nodes, and from E. radicans in having a ±straight column. E. x obrienianum differs in having a 2-horned callus. This description was prepared from cultivated plants of the two clones most commonly seen in New South Wales.
Text by Peter H. Weston
Taxon concept: Peter H. Weston
APNI* Provides a link to the Australian Plant Name Index (hosted by the Australian National Botanic Gardens) for comprehensive bibliographic data
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