Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Epidendrum ramosum, an orchid native of Puerto Rico

An inflorescence
A large plant growing in the Sierra Palm forest
Dry inflorescences and three flowers, the flowers are near the center of the photo
A large clump growing among water tank bromeliads, the plant is right over the wine colored bromeliads
Epidendrum ramosum is a widespread species that has a geographical range that covers Central America, tropical South America and the West Indies.  In Puerto Rico it has been reported from moist areas at middle to high elevation from Camuy to Naguabo.  It grows as an epiphyte on the trunks of trees and palms.  I have seen this species in the Sierra de Luquillo, in El Yunque Mountain.  I have seen plants growing in the trunks of Sierra Palms forming untidy masses of stems.
The flowers are green, small and unremarkable.  Their shape and column immediately identifies them as Epidendrum.  The inflorescence consist of a few flowers that are produced on short stems, the flower peduncle is cradled in a green bract.  Because the flowers are small and the inflorescence is short, they are easy to miss amid the tangle of the stems and leaves.  This species has the peculiarity that the stems can produce many side branches which gives large plants a bushy appearance.
This plant is not in cultivation locally and as far as I know has not garnered any interest from the horticultural community.  Given its inconspicuous uninteresting flowers and general lack of features that would attract the attention of local growers, this species can only be seen in the wild.  In some parts of the Sierra Palm forest that grows along the road that goes to the high peaks of the Caribbean National Forest you can see plants of this species growing alongside tank bromeliads and a multitude of other epiphytic plants. 


maza said...

Nice info..really enjoy reading your blog..:)

Ricardo said...


maza said...

Your welcome...hope that you continue with the article like this. Very informative for me..

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