A recently discovered species in the state of Espírito Santo, Brazil.

Key-words: Brazil, Espírito Santo, Atlantic Forest, Orchidaceae, Pseudolaelia.

This paper describes Pseudolaelia pavopolitana M. Frey, a species coming from the mountain ranges of northern Espírito Santo, Brazil, the smallest of the genus which differs from the close related species, particularly Pseudolaelia dutrae Ruschi, also occurring in the same mountains. A comparison between those two species is presented and information on its ecology and geographic distribution is given. This article was published in Richardiana Vol. V (4), September 2005, pages 203:209.

Several new species inside the genus Pseudolaelia Pôrto & Brade have been recently described. All of them coming from the state of Espírito Santo, this small state of the Brazilian southeast which goes from the sea level until the most high mountains of the region (at about 3.000 m altitude) and presents, due to this fact, a recognized bio-diversity. The sparing distribution (until today) of all those species confirms the high rate of endemism pointed out by Porembski et al. (1998). The species here presented is a good example since it was only found in two inselbergs in the neighborhood of Vila Pavão, a small town which gave the name.

Pseudolaelia pavopolitana M. Frey
Richardiana Vol. V (4) September 2005 - 203:209

Planta herbacea, lithophila, in genere minima, sciaphila, in scopulis lichenibus tectis versus meridiem orientatis incola, pseudobulbis distantibus, inflorescencia raro paniculata, floribus cum sepalis petalisque viridibus, labello trilobato roseo et in medio candido, labelli lobis lateralibus apicem versus contortis.

Typus : Brazil, Espírito Santo, Vila Pavão, Morro do Cruzeiro, 18° 39’ S, 40° 33’ W, alt. 350 m approximately, collected in 2004 (with flowers) by M. Frey & L.C.F. Perim, M. Frey 672 (holotypus : MBML, #24007) ; isotypus (LY) collected in May 2005 (with flowers) by M. Frey & L.C.F. Perim, M. Frey 851.

Rhizome 2,5 a 3 mm diameter, 2 cm distance between the pseudobulbs, recovered with scarious imbricate, violaceous sheaths , from 5 to 6 enter-nodes, little branched ; numerous and whitish roots arising from every point of the rhizome, simples, reaching 15 cm long; ovoid erect pseudobulbs, 2 cm tall and 1 cm wide, slightly lateral flattened, 4-5 enter-nodes, recovered by scarious sheaths in the first year and then bared, violaceous and plurisulcate, lasting for 5-6 years; from 2 to 3 leaves, reaching 8 cm long and 5 mm wide, distichious, arising from the apex of the pseudobulb, linear, with the base surrounding the inflorescence, acute extremity, longitudinally folded over the central veins, quite curved, dark green glabra, smooth margins, translucent central nervure ; inflorescence reaching 25 cm long, in general simples, rarely branched, arising between the leaves in the apex of the pseudobulb, until 8 (10) flowers open successively; erect cylindrical peduncle reaching 15 cm, 0,6-0,8 mm diameter, quite dark purple, recovered with 6-8 scarious sheaths, first imbricate, then more spaced, decreasing length from 20 mm to 6 mm; rachis reaching 10 cm long, a little arched, cylindrical, 0,4-0,5 mm diameter, dark purple; spread bracts, triangle-acute, 3 mm long, light brown; pedicel spread reaching 15 mm with the the ovary, 0,3 mm diameter, light ochre, ovary de 5 mm × 0,5 mm, green; flower 16 mm long, 20 mm wide and 8-10 mm depth, wide open, horizontal or slightly nutans;10 mm long sepals, 3 mm wide, lineo-oval, acute apex , light green slight yellow, dorsal sepal a little concave, the lateral are spread, glabra, smooth margins, 3 veins clearly visible; petals 10 × 1 mm long, linear-oblongs, apex obtuse, spread, light green slightly yellow, glabra, smooth margins; lip com 8-9 × 4 mm, 3-lobed, fused to the column until its half, forming at the back, with the lateral sepals, a green hemispheric nectary, at about 1,5mm diameter, fused to the ovary, the lateral lobes slightly involving the column, 2,5-3 mm long, 0,4 mm wide, linear with acute twisted back apex, then forming an istme at about 1mm long, divided into 2 parallel semi-cylindrical calli, slightly pink, developing in a trapezoid lobe elongate with rounded apex, the center formed by 5-7 calli slightly divergent, hirsute, white a little yellowish and the periphery, pink, strong undulate, at about 1 mm wide; column de 2,5 × 1 mm, straight, green, expanding into two terminal wings with whitish margin which involves the anther, terminal, ventral stigma; 8 pollinia, yellow golden, subequal; Pod 15 mm long, ellipsoid, finishing by a kind of cylindrical ‘’proboscis’’ which carries the remains of the flower, green, the lines of the dehiscence are visible in relief. See drawing 1 and photographs.

       Fig. 1, 1a e 1b: Pseudolaelia pavopolitana M. Frey and details

A: plant – B: flattened flower– C: lateral view of the flower– D: anther and pollinia – E: pod
Drawing by Marcio Lacerda from the typus

Etymology: Named after the locality where the plant has been found 'Vila Pavão" (Pavão town) (north of Espírito Santo).

Habitat and geographical distribution
Pseudolaelia pavopolitana grows in an area which has at about 100 m² in Pedra do Cruzeiro, an inselberg granitic in the neighborhoods of Vila Pavão, a city in the north of Espírito Santo. It grows in a cliff quite vertical covered by lichens in which the roots are attached. Due to the position, the plants seldom see the sun, just during the peak of summer. In the same granitic outcrop, another species are found such as Pseudolaelia dutrae Ruschi (abundantly) and Encyclia spiritusanctensis Menezes, associated to Bromeliaceae (Dyckia sp, Alcantarea sp), Velloziaceae (Nanuza plicata J.B. Smith & Ayensu, Vellozia sp) and cactus. A Pseudolaelia pavopolitana has also been found in some other hills in Vila Pavão surroundings. An amateur from Vila Pavão, Neimar Magewiski, introduced us a plant of the same species, collected in the neighbor inselberg, Pedra da Prancha.


This Pseudolaelia is distinguished because it is the smallest species known (P. citrina Pabst e P. maquijiensis M. Frey). However it differs from the known species of the genus by many particularities. First of all, by the habitat, a south direction cliff which rarely receives the sunbeam. It also differs from the Pseudolaelia with yellow or green-yellowish flowers (P. canaanensis, P. citrina and P. maquijiensis) and from Pseudolaelia with pink and white flowers (P. brejetubensis, P. cipoensis, P. corcovadensis, P freyi, P. geraensis, P. irwiniana, P. vellozicola and P. x perimii) for having tricolor flowers (green-yellowish petals and sepals, pink and white lip). If we want to find, anyhow, a point in common with a species already described, we could point out the lateral lobes of the lip very narrow and finishing in an acute and curled tip, particularity that Pseudolaelia pavopolitana has in common with Pseudolaelia dutrae Ruschi, which is, by way different under any point of view! We can also point out that the nectary prolongs the lip to the back and it also occurs with P. brejetubensis M. Frey but more developed.


Chiron, G. & V.P. Castro Neto, 2004. Une nouvelle espèce de Pseudolaelia (Orchidaceae ; Laeliinae ) d’Espirito Santo, Richardiana IV(4) : 155-162.
Frey, M.,2003. Pseudolaelia brejetubensis M. Frey (Orchidaceae) uma nova espécie do Espírito Santo, Brasil, Bradea,9(8) 33-36.
Frey, M., 2005. Pseudolaelia maquijiensis M. Frey, une nouvelle espèce d’Orchidaceae de l’Espirito Santo, Brésil, Richardiana V(1) : 39-45.
Frey, M., 2005. Pseudolaelia ×perimii M. Frey, (Orchidaceae) un hybride naturel nouveau de l’Espirito Santo, Brésil, Richardiana V(3) 158-164.
Pabst, G.F.J. & F. Dungs, 1975. Orchidaceae brasilienses, vol 1, K Schmersow, Hildesheim.
Porembski, S., G. Martinelli, R. Ohlemüller & W. Barthlott, 1998. Diversity and ecology of saxicolous vegetation mats on inselbergs in the Brasilian Atlantic rainforest, Diversity and distribution, 4 : 107-119.
Withner, C. L., 1993. The Cattleyas and their relatives,vol III, 105-109, Timber Press, Portland, USA.

To Luiz Carlos Feitosa Perim who discovered the plant here described and has an enduring partnership in the organization of our expeditions.
To Neimar Magewiski who knows very well the Orchidaceae flora of Pavão.
To Izaias Tressmann, as a Pedra do Cruzeiro's owner, has the responsability of preseverving the habitat.

Photographies: Michel Frey
Black and white drawings: Márcio Lacerda, Vitória



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