Paper originally published in Richardiana, Vol. V. January 2005 
A new Orchidaceae species from Espírito Santo, Brazil

Brazil, Espírito Santo, Atlantic Forest,
, Pseudolaelia


This paper describes Pseudolaelia maquijiensis M. Frey, a species recently found in the mountain ranges of Espírito Santo, Brazil. It is related to and compared with P. citrina Pabst. Information on its ecology and geographic occurrence is given.

The genus Pseudolaelia Pôrto & Brade comprehends nowadays 10 species (Withner, 1994) including Pseudolaelia canaanensis (Ruschi) Barros, transferred by Barros (1994) based on Renata canaanensis Ruschi, P. brejetubensis M. Frey, species described in 2003 and P. freyi Chiron & V.P. Castro, described in 2004. Those species are distributed in the Brazilian southeast where are found mainly in the states of Espírito Santo and Minas Gerais, a little in Rio de Janeiro and Bahia (Pabst & Dungs, 1975). They are found exclusively on granitic inselbergs which characterize the relief of this region, with a xerophyte vegetation and high endemism (Porembski et al. 1998). The species described is a good example of this endemism since it has, until today, just found on this inselberg and in reduced number. This paper describes this species, gives information on its ecology and geographic distribution and compares it with the near species, Pseudolaelia citrina Pabst.

Pseudolaelia maquijiensis M. Frey.
Richardiana Vol. V(1).39:45. January 2005
Planta herbacea, lithophila, in genero parva, Pseudolaelia citrina Pabst affinis, sed omnino major, inflorescencia paniculata, floribus satis majoribus et tote sulphureis

TYPUS: Brazil, Espírito Santo, in boundary between Baixo Guandu and Colatina counties, Morro do Maquiji, 19° 29’ 55’’ S, from 40° 50’ to 40° 52’ W, at about 700 m altitude, May 2004 (blooming), M. Frey 655 & L. C. F. Perim (Holotypus : MBML, Isotypus LY).

Rhizome 5-6 mm diameter recovered by scarious sheaths; 2-3(5) roots simples, whitish, thin, arising from the internodes of the rhizomes; ovoid pseudobulbs, 3-4 cm distant, 3-4 cm tall, 1,8 cm wide, slightly flattened, 4-6 internodes, recovered by apressed sheaths when young, then bared, violaceous and plurisulcate; distic leaves 2-3, until 100 × 7 mm, emerging of the apex of the pseudobulb, involving the peduncle at the base, after spread, linear-acute, caniculate in length, 1 mm thick, green slightly purple, bare, smooth purple margins, tip slightly dissimetric; inflorescence arising from the apex of the pseudobulb, reaching 30(40) cm tall, 2,5 mm diameter at the base, recovered by scarious imbricate sheaths, number 7-10, the superior allowing to see the purple peduncle ; rachis paniculate, 3-4(6) branches, each branch having in its base an enveloping bract which goes until the next branch, branches with (2)3-5(6) flowers; purple sub-peduncle, 1 mm diameter, having triangle-acute bracts, 1,5-2 mm long; pedicel with ovary, 20 mm long (ovary com 8-9 mm), green slightly purple at the base, becoming clearly green at the ovary, 0,7 mm diameter 1,5 mm at the ovary; flower slightly nutans, wide open, yellow, membranous sepals, 13 mm long, 3,5 mm wide, narrowly elliptic, yellow, slight greenish, glabra, with smooth borders, 7 veins somewhat in relief at the abaxial side, mainly the median, the dorsal with rounded extremity, with slightly curved margins, the laterals are spread, with an extremity slightly concave and obtuse-apiculate; membranous petals, 13-14 mm long versus 2 mm wide spread, narrowly ob-oval, glabra, smooth margins, concave apiculate round extremity; lip 13 mm long, 5,5 mm wide in the natural position (8 mm with the lateral lobes spread), fused to the column until the half, 3-lobed, formed by a small nail 3 mm long fused to column, then the lateral lobes, 4 mm long, 1 mm wide, somewhat falciform, curved, surrounding the column, acute extremity, spreading itself in a median oval lobe provided with a small nail 2mm long, 2,5 mm wide, a limb 6,5 mm × 5,5 mm, yellow-lemon, callus formed by a small nail of two parallel carenes by semi-cylindrical section, dividing inside the lobe into 7 carenes , membranous and strong undulated periphery; column 6 mm long, 1 mm wide becoming 2, finishing by two wings round towards down, apiculate in the extremity, green, central stigma forming a 'V', green surrounding by purple, biggibous anther, green-purplish, 8 yellow-golden pollinia, in two groups of 4, discoid, subequal
see drawing 1 and photography.

figure 1


The name of the species is derived from « Morro do Maquiji », typical inselberg of Colatina-Baixo Guandu region, Espírito Santo, Brazil, where the plant has been found (until today, exclusively).

Habitat and geographic distribution
P. maquijiensis is found on the surface of « Morro do Maquiji », in the boundary of the Colatina and Baixo Guandu counties, in the center of Espírito Santo, Brazil. It is sympatric to P. dutrae Ruschi, which flowers are pink. It is presumed to be exclusively lithophyte, in small clumps over bared and exposed parts of the hill. Blooming in May

Pseudolaelia maquijiensis grows in an area located in the peak of the Morro do Maquiji, which is in the boundary of Colatina and Baixo Guandu, at the north of Rio Doce, Espírito Santo. There, it is sympatric to P. dutrae (Ruschi), with pink flowers. It grows on lithosolo found on the rock and avoids areas with vegetation. Blooming in May and June.
The yellow flowers species of
Pseudolaelia are not numerous and, if we put aside Pseudolaelia canaanensis (Ruschi) Barros, which is a big size species, this new species can only compared with Pseudolaelia citrina Pabst (in Bradea, Vol II, N°12, pp 69-70). Both are small and lithophyte (not "vellozicola" as Pabst said about Pseudolaelia citrina), with very close pseudobulbs (3-4 cm to P. maquijiensis versus 1 cm to P. citrina), small (3-4 × 1,8 cm versus 2 × 1,2 cm) with 4-6 internodes (versus 3), the sheaths and the surface of P. maquijiensis become clearly pink-purplish with the age, with similar leaves although bigger in this new species (100 × 7 mm versus 40-70 × 5 mm), a bigger inflorescence (30-40 cm versus 14 cm) in general paniculate with many ramifications. Pabst didn't mention this fact to P. citrina, but we found certain big specimens with one or two ramifications. The flowers are flattened in Pseudolaelia citrina and a little nutans in P. maquijiensis, and especially bigger in our species (13 × 3,5 mm sepals versus 8 × 1,6-2 mm, 13,5 lip × 5,5 mm versus 9,5 × 4 mm), with a yellow-sulphur coloration and locally greenish in P. maquijiensis, while in P. citrina, if the lip is quite yellow, a little more orange than the other, on the other hand, it has hues of pink purplish in the interior and become clearly to this color at the outside with stronger ridges. Besides, we can notice that P. citrina grows at about 1 200 m altitude while P. maquijiensis is found up to 700 m.

Barros, F., 1994. Novas combinações, novas occorrências e notas sobre espécies pouco conhecidas para as orquideas do Brazil. Acta Botanica Brazilica 8(1) :11-17
Frey, M., 2003. Pseudolaelia brejetubensis M. Frey (Orchidaceae), uma nova espécie do Espirito Santo, Brazil. Bradea, 9(8):33-36
Chiron, G. & V.P. Castro Neto, 2004. Une nouvelle espèce de Pseudolaelia (Orchidaceae: Laeliinae ) d’Espirito Santo. Richardiana, IV(4) :155-162
Pabst, G. F. J. & F. Dungs, 1975. Orchidaceae Brazilienses, 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 Brazilian 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

Photo: Michel Frey
Illustration: Luca Fontani.

To Euclidio Colnago the first one to talk to us about the Morro do Maquiji.
To Mrs. Onorina Barbieri Spelta and her family by their hospitaly and guide.


Any kind of reproduction (print, digital or anyone) of any type of material of this site: texts, layout, photos, images and others - is strictly forbidden without previous written permission of the authors. Any solicitation or information should be done by the e-mil: