Lepanthes auriculata

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Well-Known Member
Apr 7, 2012
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Fairbanks, Alaska, USA
I got this from Andy's Orchids as a "various Lepanthes species". I expected that this would mean species with name tags, but all three of them didn't have any identification info nor the source country. Well, I have fun trying to ID and I usually can learn new things about the group, so I'm not complaining. But it is kind of difficult to guess the culture info. Anyway, this one is the first of the three, which flowered. I think that it is closest to L. auriculata. But I don't have Vol 32 of Luer's Icones Pleurothallidinarum, so I'm just going by the illustrations in Swiss Orchid Foundation. If someone has this book, I'd love to see the aritificial keys to this group. It seems to be similar to L. orion, L. steyermarkii, and L. condorensis. IOSPE has a bit of text about the contrast between these species, but it isn't too clear.

I'm not 100% sure about the ID of L. auriculata, but this is my reasoning:

The pointy bottom of the lip (below the column) seems to go up (90 degree angle against the top part of the lip, which sandwiches the column) in the 3 of the four species, but L. orion doesn't seem to have the point sticking up. My plant has the point sticking up, so it is different from L. orion. Also the shape of the bottom lip seems to be closer to L. auriculata.

L. steyermarkii seems to have more contoured lip, the part which sandwich the column, but my plant is more rounded and "thick" looking.

L. condorensis seems to have a pretty fat upper lobe of the petals. So this leaves me with L. auriculata.

This is a pretty large Lepanthes (about 30cm=1foot tall, including the "stem"=ramicaul and leaf), and the flowe is pretty big (>1cm tall), too.

I appreciate any opinions about the ID!

Lepanthes auriculata? on Flickr

Lepanthes auriculata? on Flickr

Lepanthes auriculata? on Flickr

Lepanthes auriculata? on Flickr

Lepanthes auriculata? on Flickr

One thing I noticed is that in the photo below, taken from below the column, there are about 8 hairs. The illustrations don't seem to show these hairs. Also, this photo shows the shape of the bottom side of the lip, which doesn't seem to match with L. orion.

Lepanthes auriculata? (bottom of the lip) on Flickr

Lepanthes auriculata? on Flickr
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