Key-words: Brazil, Minas Gerais, Atlantic Forest, Orchidaceae, Epidendrum, E. josianae, E. warasii, E. zappii

A species from the mountain ranges of Minas Gerais, Brazil, described as Epidendrum josianae. This species has some features in common with Epidendrum warasii Pabst and Epidendrum zappii Pabst which are compared. Information on its ecology and geographic occurrence is given.

The very specific xerophyte flora and the strong endemism of the granitic inselbergs in the Atlantic Forest will provide a great number of new species. Apparently, this flora is less studied than those situated in the forest strictly speaking and than those from the restingas (coastal sandbank). This article described a big rupicolous Epidendrum which makes, by certain aspects, thinking about Epidendrum warasii Pabst or Epidendrum zappii Pabst, however it is strongly distinguished from them when attentively studied as it is showed here.

Epidendrum josianae M. Frey & V.P. Castro
Richardiana V(2) April 2005

Planta herbacea, rupicola, in genero grandis, caulibus non pseudobulbsis, strictis, distiche foliatis, foliis amplexicaulibus, crassis, ovatis, apice rotundatis, inflorescencia terminale, in caulibus vetis producta, paniculata cum 3-7 ramis, pedunculo rhachidique erectis, ramis patentibus, unoquoque cum 4-7 floribus, pedicellis cum ovario 3-4 cm longis, nutantibus, floribus olivaceis cum labelo albo-viridescente, sepalis petalisque ovatis, concavis, labelo bilobato, coluna alba, anthera lilacina.


Brazil, Minas Gerais, in the municipality of Lajinha, Imbiruçu, Pedra Santa, 20° 11’ S, 41° 26’ W, altitude 1 200 m, October 2004 (flowers), M.Frey 711 (holotype : MBML, n°22785).

herbaceous, lithophyte, caespitose plant; Very short rhizome, whitish fleshy roots, reaching 30 cm long, 6 mm diameter; erect stem, slightly curved, with until 1,20 (1,50) m long, 2 cm diameter, very slightly flattened laterally, recovered with scarious imbricate base with 2cm long, old leaves; leaves until 30 (40), distic, amplexicaul then extended, caniculated at the base, elliptic with round edge, slightly retuse and dissimetric, glabrous, smooth margins, prominent central nervure, abaxial, green, fleshy lateral (1,2 mm thick); Erect terminal inflorescence, reaching 15 (20) cm, paniculate, strongly flattened (8 × 5 mm), provided by scarious sheath applicate, soon deciduous, rachis 8 (10) cm long, carrying until 6 short ramifications, extended, 4-7 flowers each one; triangular acute, membranous sheaths 5 mm long, light green spotted with red-wine; pedicel-ovaries nutant, reaching 40 mm long, light green pedicel 10-15 mm long, 2 mm diameter, ovary 25-30 mm long, crescent diameter until 4 mm, purple, slightly hexa-sulcate; well flattened flowers, at about 32 × 32 mm, olive-green tepals, adaxial lateral, purple marks, mainly the sepals, abaxial lateral; Elliptic concave, fleshy sepals, recurved edges, slightly apiculate glabrous extremity, smooth margins, 3 nervures visible (little) in transparence, more clearly when dry, (15)-18-(20) mm long, (6)-8-(11) mm width; Oblong, fleshy, a little concave petals, obtuse glabrous extremity, smooth margins, 3 nervures well visible when dry, (12)-15-(18) mm long, (5)-7-(10) mm width; lip adnate to the column along the length, forming a small 5 mm long nail fused to the column, then fused towards the lower part, opening in oval transverse lobe, 10-12 mm long, 14-18 mm width, white at the base and at the center, green at the periphery, bilobate extremity, external serrate margins, having at the end of the small nail two white and semi-cylindrical calli that change into three white and little prominent, the median twice bigger than the lateral ones; column 8 mm long, slightly recurved, crescent width varying from2 to 4 mm, 2 to 5 mm thickness, green at the base, becomes white, supplied with two descendent wings with sub-retangular extremity which hides the stigma; Triangular round white-pinkish terminal anther, supplied by a median vertical callus and interiorly provided of 4 anther-caps containing four yellow discoid-truncate pollinia, at about 1,2 mm, gathered two by two over the flattened with serrulate edges which are joined at the base over a small viscidium, unknown capsule.
See drawing 1 and photographies.

Fig. 1 : Epidendrum josianae M. Frey & V.P. Castro, sp. nov.
Drawing by Marcio Lacerda, November 2004
a : plant - b : inflorescence - c : front view of the flower - d : lateral view of the flower - e : floral segments - f : anther lower part view - g : pollinia

To pay homage to Josiane Guiard, a French orchidist who has participated in this discovery of this plant.

Habitat and geographical distribution
Epidendrum josianae has been found on the steep slope of Pedra Santa, an inselberg which dominates Imbiruçu village, in the municipality of Lajinha, Minas Gerais. It grows as rupicolous among Bromeliaceae and Velloziacea which vegetates on place. There also are some Orchidaceae, between them, at least, two Pseudolaelia species, besides Bifrenaria, Encyclia, and the ubiquitous
Epidendrum denticulatum. E. josianae has not been found, until now, in the neighborhood although a species with very similar characteristics has been found on a close inselberg. However, it seems that there are between the two species differences enough to prevent from mistaking them. A more deep study will clarify this doubt.

This species has common points with some species of big Epidendrum, such as Epidendrum warasii Pabst e Epidendrum zappii Pabst, from which it differs by many characteristics. Which attracts attention, in this species, at the first sight, is that the inflorescence seems to be developed exclusively on old leafless stems while the other mentioned species blooming on new buds. E. josianae leaves are big and wide (relation width/length½) and quite close (2 cm), while E. zappii has a relation width/length ¼ and a 5 cm distance between them. The same is observed in E. warasii. E. josianae inflorescence is composed by 5-6 branches in panicles, while the one from E. zappii presents a very long raceme and E. warasii a very short one. E. josianae flowers are fleshy, with quite round segments while as in E. zappii and in E. warasii they are membranous and alongate tepals. Finally E. josianae lip is clearly bilobate and predominantly green while as the two other species present trilobate lip with dominance of white color.

Acknowledgments (from the authors)
To Olinto Faiolli, a local orchidist who knows very well the local flora and looked for this plant in an abrupt steep slope in acrobatic conditions.

Acknowledgments (from Brazilian Orchids & Orchid News)
To Guy Chiron, Richardiana editor, for having gently sent the files and photos for this work, as well the authorization for the reproduction.

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