Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Pretty picture: Epidendrum pseudepidendrum

Wikiposedly, this species can reach five feet (1.5 m) tall. That's a pretty serious orchid.

There have been a lot of Epidendrums in previous shows, but very few have had this green/purple/orange coloring, which I love every time I see it. Of the two similar previous plants, both from the 2012 show, both were heavy on E. pseudepidendrum genes:

Epicattleya René Marqués x Epidendrum pseudoepidendrum
Epicattleya René Marqués 'Tyler'

Epicattleya René Marqués is E. pseudepidendrum x Cattleya x claesiana (Ref.); Cattleya x claesiana is Cattleya intermedia x Cattleya loddigesii.1

The thin petals make it tough for an autofocus camera like mine to get a good shot of it, but I think these turned out okay. Or at least the above photo worked out okay. Less happy with the whole-plant shot:

My second-favorite thing about Epidendrum pseudepidendrum, after the color, is the botanical name, which is delightfully self-negating.2


1 Cattleya x claesiana is a cross of two pink/lavender catts; intermedia has multiple color varieties, though most have a a dark lip in common, and loddigesii is typically a uniform light pink or lavender across the whole flower, though sometimes the lip is lighter.
2 Pseudo- means false, so the name translates as "the Epidendrum that is a false Epidendrum."


Paul said...

I find the texture of the lip to be noteworthy as well. It is very stiff and quite thick. Feels like it is made out of plastic. :)

Ivynettle said...

Botanical names are so weird sometimes. I remembered today that Narcisssus pseudonarcissus does the same thing, and... why? What was the thought process behind naming them like that?

mr_subjunctive said...


In the case of Epidendrum pseudoepidendrum, Wikipedia says it's because it was first named Pseudepidendrum spectabile and then moved to Epidendrum. There is a published report of an Epidendrum spectabile (now Barkeria spectabilis) from 1862, so I'd guess that E. spectabile was already in use, so they changed Pseudoepidendrum spectabile to Epidendrum pseudoepidendrum, and then changed Epidendrum spectabile to Barkeria spectabilis later. Or something like that.

Wikipedia doesn't have an explanation for Narcissus pseudonarcissus, but I would assume it's probably something similar, considering that it's had a ridiculous number of previous names, including Ajax pseudonarcissus.