Lepanthes dubbeldamii

Family : Orchidaceae

Text © Pietro Puccio


English translation by Mario Beltramini


Lepanthes dubbeldamii, Orchidaceae

The Lepanthes dubbeldamii is an epiphyte mini orchid of Venezuela, where it grows in the humid forest around at 1800 m of altitude. The stems have only one leaf © Giuseppe Mazza

The species is native to Venezuela where it grows on the trees of the humid forest at around 1800 m of altitude.

The etymology of the generic name has not been specified by the author, after some it is the combination of the Greek substantives “λεπίς” (lepis) = scale and “άνθος” (anthos) = flower, with reference to the shape of the flower of many species. Others think it comes from “λέπος” (lepos) = bark and “άνθος” (anthos) = flower, seen that the plants of the genus live on the bark of the trees. The specific name is dedicated to its discoverer, the Dutch Piet Dubbeldam.

Lepanthes dubbeldamii, Orchidaceae

The racemose inflorescence carries tiny flowers opening in succession © Giuseppe Mazza

The Lepanthes dubbeldamii B.T.Larsen (2014) is an epiphyte cespitose species with short rhizome and thin erect stems, 5-8 cm tall, covered by sheaths ending in an ovate-acuminate oblique infundibuliform expansion with finely ciliate margin.

The stems are provided at the apex of only one ovate leaf with long acuminate apex, 2,8-4,5 cm long and 1,4-3,8 cm broad.

Racemose inflorescences, on a 3-6 cm long peduncle, initially erect then curved, bearing numerous distichous flowers along the rachis that open in succession, arranged in decreasing distance towards the apex on a pedicel and an ovary about 4 mm long.

Ovate-triangular sepal with acuminate apex, merged at the base to the lateral sepals, about 4 mm long and 3 mm broad, ovate lateral sepals with acuminate apex, about 3 mm long and 2 mm broad, united at the base per about half of their length, semi-transparent, of pinkish colour.

Transversely bilobate petals, about 0,4 mm long and 2,5 mm broad, with superior lobe truncated and inferior oblong lobe with obtuse apex of red colour. Bilaminate red labellum with oblong laminae with rounded apex, about 1 mm long and 1,5 mm broad, thickly pubescent under the column and with a short pubescent curved appendage.

It reproduces by seed, in vitro, and by division with each section provided of at least 3-4 stems.

Mini orchid with a blooming lasting for a long period, requires a semi-shady exposition, intermediate temperatures, high environmental humidity and constant movement of air.

Watering must be regular in thus to keep the substratum permanently humid, but without stagnations that may cause rottenness, utilizing rainwater, demineralized or by reverse osmosis. It can be mounted on pieces of bark or rafts of cork or of arborescent ferns covered by a layer of sphagnum to maintain the humidity at the roots, or cultivated in pots or baskets with draining compost formed by finely sliced bark fragments, charcoal and inerts with addition of sphagnum.

The species is inscribed in the appendix II of the CITES (species whose trade is internationally ruled).


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