Lepanthopsis prolifera

Family : Orchidaceae

Text © Pietro Puccio


English translation by Mario Beltramini


Lepanthopsis prolifera, Orchidaceae

The Lepanthopsis prolifera is a mini orchid native to the humid forests of Colombia © Giuseppe Mazza

The species is native to Colombia (Norte de Santander) where it grows in the humid forests between the 1800 and 2200 m of altitude.

The generic name is the combination of Lepanthes and of the Greek substantive “ὄψις“ (opsis) = look, with reference to the resemblance of the species to those of the cited genus. The specific name is the Latin adjective “proliferus, a, um” = proliferous, with obvious reference.

The Lepanthopsis prolifera Garay (1954) is an epiphyte species with thin stems covered by tubular sheaths with dilated apex, oblique and with ciliate margins, similar to those of the Lepanthes, 4-14 cm long, with at the apex one single elliptic leaf with acute apex, coriaceous, 1-1,8 cm long and 0,4-0,7 cm broad.

Inflorescences, on a 1-2 cm long peduncle, racemose, about 1 cm long, bearing several close flowers opening at the same time of purple red colour.

Dorsal ovate-elliptic sepal with acute apex, 2,5 mm long and 1,2 mm broad, lateral ovate-elliptic sepals with acute overlapping apices, united at the base for about one third of their length, 2,5 mm long and 0,8 mm broad, ovate petals with obtuse apex, 0,8 mm long and 0,6 mm broad, trilobate labellum 1 mm long and 1,3 mm broad.

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

Miniature orchid, rare in cultivation, tillering quickly, to cultivate in cold greenhouse in semi-shady position with high humidity, 65-80 %, and constant air movement. It is usually mounted on pieces of bark or rafts of cork or of roots of arborescent ferns, with sphagnum at the base in order to maintain the humidity at the roots.

The watering must be regular in way to maintain constantly humid the substratum, but without stagnations that may cause rottenness, utilizing rainwater, by reverse osmosis or demineralized.

Lepanthopsis prolifera, Orchidaceae

Rare in cultivation, tillers quickly. Tiny inflorescences with 2,5 mm sepals and trilobate labellum only 1,3 mm broad © Giuseppe Mazza

Fertilizations properly spaced and interspersed with the watering, thus to avoid salt accumulation at the roots, utilizing a product specific for orchids at ¼ of the dosage shown on the package.

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


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