Keywords; Orchidaceae, Sophronitis, Sophronitis alagoensis, Sophronitis cernua, Alagoas, Brazil.
In October 2002, we found, among a collection of orchids, a small population of Sophronitis, looking like Sophronitis cernua. The morphological differences, which we will approach later, are enough to treat this population as a distinct taxonomic entity. Besides, the blooming seasons are very different: April-June for Sophronitis cernua, September-November for those plants, which avoid the inter-fecundation of the two entities, as a result, we would rather treat as separate species.
Sophronitis alagoensis V. P. Castro & Chiron, III (2) April 2003 – Richardiana
Sophronitis cernua Lindley similis est, sed magnitudine duplo minore, foliis rotundatioribus, floris valde minoribus, minus apertis, petalis sepalis latioribus, labello trilobato cum lobo medio ½ longo, callo columnaque longioribus differt.
Comparison between Sophronitis cernua and
size of the plants is, at about, twice smaller than Sophronitis cernua
and the size of the flowers is, at least, 50% smaller. The leaves
are, clearly, rounder: the relation width/length is, at about, 0,8 instead
of 0,6 as in Sophronitis cernua. The petals are clearly wider than
the sepals (at about 1,6 times more), while in Sophronitis cernua,
petals and sepals are “sub-equal”. The lip is clearly tri-lobed
and a little more longer than this one of Sophronitis cernua. The
yellow part of the lip is more flattened. The callus and column are, keeping
the right proportions, much longer: the relation callus length and lip
length is 0,45-0,5 (instead of 0,3) and the relation column length and
lip length is 0,7 (instead of 0,4-0,45).
Brazil – Alagoas, collected by Erwin Bohnk, in December 1999, 20 Km from the seashore, in Maceió direction, at 150m altitude, in the oriental versant of the hills, it bloomed, regularly, in cultivation in October-November (Holotype- SP).
Herb epiphytic on shrubs in open wood, caespitose. Roots relatively thick (at about 1,5 mm diameter); pseudobulbs ovoid, ancipital, at about 8-13 x 5-9 mm, green reddish, with two inter-nodes, slightly longitudinal wrinkled, unifoliate at the apex, clothed by parchment-like 3-4 sheaths, green yellowish at
|the beginning, quickly dried; leaf considerably oval to sub-circular, thick, coriaceous, green, slightly purple colored, mainly all along the medium veined and the margins, 11-18 mm x 6-15 mm; inflorescence in raceme with 2-4 flowers, very short reddish peduncle; small flower, at about 1 cm diameter, scarlet red; ovary pedicel 12-18 mm long, swollen, reddish; oblanceolate sepals, acute, slightly apiculate, dorsal sepal with 8-9 mm long and 3,6-3,7 mm wide; petals ovo-rhomboid, acute, the superior margins are slightly undulated, 8-10 mm long and 5,5-5,8 mm wide; Trilobed lip, yellow at the base, the disc and the base of the lateral lobes, scarlet red in the medium lob and at the margins of the lateral lobes, 7,0-7,5 mm long, 5,2-5,6 mm wide when flattened, round lateral lobes, 3 mm long, 1 mm wide, curved towards the top and enclosing the column, triangular medium lobe, round, acute apex, length and width 2,5-3,0 mm; callus at the base of the lip, 3,1-3,4 mm long and formed by a transversal, undulated, thick, fleshy crest of 1,3 mm height and two longitudinal, thin, flexible, and slightly pendant crests, placed at each side of the narrow medium carinae;|
|sub-right column, thick, pink, semicircular section, flanked at the apex by two round thick, dark purple wings; pointed anther, white greyish; stigmatic cavity larger than longer, pollinia, 8, yellow, 0,8 mm long. See figure 1.|
V.P.Castro Neto & Chiron
A - plant
B - flower
C - dorsal sepal
D - lateral sepal
E - petal
F - lip
(F1 - profile view, in natural position, with the column;
F2 - front view, flattened;
F3 - longitudinal incision showing the callus;
F4 - apex, with the anther)
G - column, anther with drawn
(G1 - 3/4 view with the pedicel-ovary
G2 - face view)
Alagoas. Humid climate. Blooming season from October to November. Out of the plant-type site, Erwin Bohnk found other plants in the same region, at 840m altitude, approximately.
and photographies: G. Chiron
Map and digital manipulation: Sergio Araujo
Rua Vicente Galafassi, 549
S. B. Campo, SP - Brazil
2, rue des Pervenches
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