Lou Menezes

talk about the Sobralia in Brasil
photo/foto:Lou Menezes
Sobralia pumila
foot/photo: Lou Menezes

Sobralia pumila Rolfe
Kew Bull.: 337,1893

After completing my research on the genus Cyrtopodium in Brazil heretofore little studied and known, I became fascinated with another genus that had also been neglected, Sobralia. Although the flowers of the most of its species are ornamental, plant of this genus are rarely of interest - to orchid collectors, and as a consequence these very easy-to-grow plants are completely unknown to them.
Approximately 10-12 species are scattered, thoughout the territory of Brazil, mostly concentrated in the Amazon region; this article reveals the delicate beauty of a small species with very small flowers: Sobralia pumila Rolf, truly a jewel of nature.
It is an epiphytic species native to the Brazilian Amazon, found in particular on the Island of Marajó, in Pará State, whose slender clustered pseudobulbs form clumps about 20 cm high; the leaves are leathery, oval-lanceolate, plicate with and acute apex, 16 cm long and 4 cm in average width, its terminal flowers are 1-2 in number, although usually solitary short-lived, withish or pale yellow in color, with a short pedicel and linear ovary; linear-lanceolate sepals 3,2-3,5 cm long and 0,6-0,7 cm average width; petals slightly shorter and wider, 3-3,3 cm long and callus with fimbriate-cristate venations; the collumn is short and clavate, and the capsule has not been observed in cultivated specimens.
Successive flowerings have been recorded in cultivation in the IBAMA National Orchidary in Brasilia in Brasília, Federal District, Brazil in the months of December, January and February, Brazilian Summer.

Kew Bull.: 337,1893
Orch. Rev., 2: 54,1894
Mart.Fl.Br., 3-5: 343,1898

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