Laelia Sec.Parviflorae



Tribe: Epidendreae 
Subtribe: Laeliinae

Section Parviflorae includes the plants known as "rupiculous laelias" due to the fact that they mostly grow on rock ledges. There are, however, 3 species that actually grow on trees and the plants are different mainly due to the fact that they grow under much shadier conditions, producing slender plants. Rupiculous laelias usually grow exposed to a good amount of light, especially the smaller plants. Species that produce larger plants usually grow protected by shrubs or grasses and many times can be seen only when they produce their inflorescences above the surrounding vegetation. 

Rupiculos laelias always produce brightly colored flowers, and in this regard we have basically three groups, the first one producing yellow flowers (L. briegeri, L. esalqueana, L. bradei); the second one producing orange to red flowers (L. milleri, L. angereri, L. sanguiloba) and the third producing pink to magenta or purple flowers (L. lucasiana, L. rupestris, L. caulescens). Among these groups, the yellow flowered ones have small to large plants and short to long inflorescences according to the species, as do the pink to purple flowered species; the orange to red species are usually tall (with the exception of Laelia milleri). Habitats are usually more or less windy, so these plants require plenty of air circulation. In their natural habitats, plants grow with their rhizomes and roots protected from direct sunlight so, although the plants get plenty of sun their lower parts always have some shade and humidity available.

Number of species:

Around 40. The World Monocot checklist currently considers these species to belong to a greatly expanded genus Sophronitis. Other taxonomists have proposed transfer of these species to the genus Hoffmannseggella. Genera Orchidacearum Vol 5 will transfer the entire genus Sophronitis to Cattleya and the World Checklist will follow soon thereafter.


Tropical America, Brazil.

Laelia liliputana - ©2009 Greg Allikas 

L. lucasiana - ©2009 Greg Allikas 

L. sanguiloba - ©2009 Greg Allikas 

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