A natural hybrid recently discovered to the state of Espírito Santo (Brazil)

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

This paper describes Pseudolaelia ×perimii, a natural hybrid recently discovered in the mountain ranges of Espírito Santo,Brazil , a crossing between Pseudolaelia brejetubensis M. Frey and Pseudolaelia freyi Chiron & V.P. Castro. Information about its ecology and geographic distribution is given as well as a comparison between the three plants.
Paper originally published in Richardiana Vol. V (3), July 2005, pages 158 a 164.

Monte Feio, a granitic inselberg in Brejetuba (Espírito Santo, Brazil ) has already given recently (Chiron & Castro Neto, 2004 ; Frey, 2003) two new species of Pseudolaelia. It is not a surprise that we have found a plant which presents the characters of a natural hybrid between them. Enclosed as the two other to the plaques of lithosol which are formed towards the peak of the inselbergs, close, if not tributary of the Velloziaceae which populate them, disappearing from all eutrophic areas, particularly those invaded by the Poaceae, this species attracts attention, at the first sight, by its characters truly intermediate that we will discuss bellow.

Pseudolaelia × perimii, M. Frey, Richardiana Vol V (3) - July 2005 - 158:164
Herba rupicola hybrida naturalis inter Pseudolaelia brejetubensis M. Frey et Pseudolaelia freyi Chiron & V.P.Castro.
Holotypus: Brazil , Espírito Santo, Brejetuba, Monte Feio, 20° 10’ 35’’ to 20° 11’ S, 41° 16’ 45’’ to 41° 17’ 15’’ W, altitude 1 100 to 1 400 m, May 2002, M. Frey & L.C.F.Perim 231 (holotypus : MBML). Isotypus : M. Frey & L.C.F.Perim 847 (LY).

Herbaceous plant, in principle lithophyte, sometimes slightly clings to the close branches of different Velloziaceae. Erect bearing, 30-60 cm tall. Cylindrical rhizome , 3,5 to 5 mm diameter, 2,5 to 5 cm of distance between the pseudobulbs, recovered with numerous
scarious imbricate short lasting sheaths; numerous, simples, cylindrical roots arising along the rhizome, reaching until 15cm tall, 1,5 to 2,5 mm diameter, white; ovoid pseudobulbs, slightly compressed laterally, 4,5-5,5 × 2,5 cm, formed by 5 internodes, recovered by scarious sheaths soon caduceous, then smooth, becoming irregularly pluri-veined, first green with purples blotches, then purple with the age; distic linear-lanceolate; leaves 2-3 (5), arising in the apex of the pseudobulb, the inferior much bigger than the superior, reaching 15 cm × 12 mm, folded over the median nervure, acute extremity, glabra, thin margins and irregularly dentate, green with purple traces towards the extremity and purple margins, caduceous in a year, at the level of the abscission, 1 cm bellow the apex of the pseudobulb, 9 parallel nervures visible in transparence; erect inflorescence, arising from the apex of the pseudobulb, between the leaves; peduncle persisting dry a year after the blooming, reaching 50 cm tall, slight compressed laterally, at about 2 ,5 mm wide, 1,5 mm at the beginning of the rachis, green purple, recovered of 6 to 10 scarious sheaths, imbricate until the half height, 7 cm long at the base, 2 cm at the apex; rachis de 10-15 cm, somewhat paniculate (2-3 branches), carrying until 12 (15) flowers, the branches from 6 to 8; erect, triangle-acute, membranous, brownish small bracts, 3-4 mm length; pedicel with spread ovary, reaching until 20 mm length, the pedicel is dark red-purple, the ovary is darker and somewhat brown; flowers quite opened, horizontal, 32mm wide, 25mm height, 18 mm depth, light pink with nervures darker pink margins; sepals reaching until 18-20 mm × 3 mm, linear-oblong, a little ligulate, with curved borders, acute extremity, glabra, smooth margins, 3 darker pink nervures, some darker pink blotches towards the extremity; petals reaching until 18-20 mm × 2 mm, linear-oblong, acute extremity, with a little curved borders, glabra, smooth margins, darker rose glabra nervure, smooth margins, dark pink nervure and blotches towards the extremity; lip 3-lobed, reaching until 15 mm length versus 8 mm wide, the lateral lobes 10mm spread, lengthening towards the back part by a nectary fused to the the ovary, round, light purple, at about 1 mm diameter, disc fused to the column until its half, caniculate by 2 big semi-cylindrical calli, white-yellowish with pink borders, lateral lobes divergent from the axe of the lip in 60°, with a form of a half moon, turned back, obtuse extremity, 4,5 mm × 2 mm, white marked with three dark pink branched veins and a dark pink blotch in the extremity, median lobe slightly unguiculate, small nail 2 mm × 2 mm, where the calli are attenuated then opening in a wide oval lobe with undulated and curved margins, light yellow center, forming 7 calli puberulent, the median is longer which periphery becomes white with numerous dark pink centrifuge branched veins; column 5 mm length and 3 mm in the extremity, dark green-purple, with two lateral wings towards the tip, pointed ahead, white greenish, involving the ventral stigma and the anther; terminal darkened purple, having 8 yellow-golden pollinia, gathered inside 4 juxtaposed boxes, subequal. See figure 1.

Named in honor of Luiz Carlos Feitosa Perim who discovered this species.

figure 1

figure 1 (detail)


Habitat and geographical distribution
The species is found on the same reduced surface of Monte Feio of Brejetuba where the two species considered as its parents have been found and described. P. freyi, much more abundant, fills the totality of the biotypes with thousand plants. P. brejetubensis, less spread, only occupies a small number of places in this space and Pseudolaelia ×perimii, as we could expect from an hybrid between the two, was just found, until now, next to the place where P. brejetubensis grows. Without being truly vellozicola as P. freyi, P. ×perimii is accommodate to the neighborhood of those monocotiledoneas very typical of the biotype and, sometimes, lean on them.

P. × perimii presents many points of the intermediary characteristics that justifies the thesis. The pseudobulbs, agregate in P. brejetubensis, are distant, but less than in P. freyi. In the same way, where the inflorescences of P. brejetubensis are panicle with numerous branches (from 3 to 6), in P. freyi there are racemes, with, eventually, a branch which is developed lately, P. ×perimii have paniculate inflorescences with three branches, at maximum. The green prominent nectary which is one of the characteristics more specific of P. brejetubensis reappears in Pseudolaelia ×perimii, more attenuate, while it doesn't exist in P. freyi. P. brejetubensis blooms in April, while as the P. freyi only blooms at the end of May and mainly in June. P. ×perimii full open mid-May. Finally, the general aspect of the plant which combines the slenderness of P. brejetubensis and the rondness of P. freyi, really allows to think that it is a natural hybrid, phenomenon which is not rare in the Brazilian southeast where it has been noticed many times particularly in the Laeliineae group. May be it is interesting to point out that, after the description of P. brejetubensis, this species has also been found on Pedra da Invejada, Lajinha County, in the neighbor state of Minas Gerais. P. freyi was not observed which reduces the chances of finding a hybrid in this place. In the same way, P. freyi has been found on another hill in Brejetuba, but the P. brejetubensis hasn't. Finally, an information not still confirmed about the occurrence of P. freyi in a hill of Lajinha, Afonso Cláudio county, in Espírito Santo, not so far from Feio Hill, however, as P. brejetubensis has not been observed, it seems to be useless to look for this hybrid.
Nevertheless, there are great possibilities to do news discoveries in this domain, until now, not very well explored. Withner, in an paper about Pseudolaelia, written, it is true in 1993 : « a Brazilian genus not very well known» ! Actually, it seems that orchidists endeavour are done in the forests and not so frequently in the peak of the inselbergs. In the same way, there would be a lot to do in the domain of Bromeliaceae and Velloziaceae, abundant in those very special biotypes.

Chiron, G.R. & V.P. Castro Neto, 2004. Une nouvelle espèce de Pseudolaelia (Orchidaceae : Laeliinae) d’EspíritoSanto (Brésil). Richardiana IV(4) : 156-162
Frey, M., 2003. Pseudolaelia brejetubensis M. Frey (Orchidaceae), uma nova espécie do Espírito Santo,Brazil . Bradea 9(8) : 33-36
Withner, C. L., 1993. The Cattleyas and their relatives, vol.3, Timber Press, Portland (Oregon) USA.

Michel Frey: sitio Capijuma, Alto Ribeirão do Meio, Conceição do Castelo, 29375-E.S.Brazil michel_frey@terra.com.br

Photo: Michel Frey
Illustration: Luca Fontani


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