(pronounced: ep-ee-DEN-drum)


Epidendreae subtribe Laeliinae

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Extremely diverse epiphytes, lithophytes and terrestrials. Rhizomes short to long-trailing or pendent. Stems erect to pendent, pseudobulbous or cane-like, simple to many-branched. Leaves one to many, alternate, distichous, leathery, often clustered toward the stem apex. Inflorescences terminal, rarely axillary, sessile to long-pedunculate, racemes or panicles, often subtended by a spathe, the floral bracts minute to conspicuous. Flowers usually produced simultaneously, sometimes produced in succession, usually resupinate, highly variable in color and markings. Sepals and petals free, the petals usually much narrower than the sepals. Lip unlobed to three-lobed, usually fused to the column, rarely free, the midlobe often deeply bilobulate, forming an internal nectary with the column, +/- callus, the callus often a pair of fleshy knobs at the junction of the lip and column. Column variable, usually club-shaped, often arching, without foot and usually without wings, the clinandrium low and smooth to hooded and variously toothed and fimbriate; pollinia 4, on caudicles and sometimes a weakly defined viscidium.


From the Greek epi, meaning on, and dendron, meaning tree, referring to the epiphytic habit of most species.


A genus of some 800 species from throughout the Neotropics. To date there is no accepted internal classification of the genus although many species clusters are recognized. Some of these, such as those surrounding E. difforme Jacquin, E. floribundum Kunth

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Ackerman, J. D. and A. M. Montalvo 1986. Two new species of Epidendrum with lateral inflorescences. Selbyana 9:126-129.

Adams, R. M. and G. J. Goss 1975. The reproductive biology of the epiphytic orchids of Florida 3, Epidendrum anceps Jacquin. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 45:488-492.

Allen, P. H. 1958. A natural hybrid from Honduras. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 27(5):310-312.

Alves, R. J. V. 1990. Floral morphology and distribution of the Epidendrum ellipticum complex (Orchidaceae) in Brazil. Preslia 62:25-31.

Ames, O., F. T. Hubbard and C. Schweinfurth 1934. Three polymorphic alliances in Epidendrum. Bot. Mus. Leafl. 2(4):41-71.

Ames, O., F. T. Hubbard and C. Schweinfurth 1936. The genus Epidendrum in the United States and Middle America. Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Bock, I. 1982. Epidendrum tridens Poepp. und Endl. var. briegeri Bock, var. nov., eine neue varietät aus Kolumbien. Die Orchidee 33:156-159.

Bock, I. 1982. Epidendrum vigiaense, eine neue spezies aus Kolumbien. Die Orchidee 33:231-233.

Bock, I. 1984. Epidendrum luckei, eine neue Art aus Kolumbien. Die Orchidee 35:100-103.

Boyden, J. C. 1980. Floral mimicry by Epidendrum ibaguense (Orchidaceae) in Panama. Evolution 34:135-136.

Brieger, F. G. 1978. Uber einige interesante Epidendrum-arten der subgenus Ampiglottium-Schistochila. Die Orchidee 29:52-59.

Brieger, F. G. and H. D. Bicalho 1978. Restabelecimento do Genero Physinga Lindl. (Orchidaceae). Bradea 2(34):231-237.

Carnevalim G. and G. A. Romero 1996. Orchidaceae Dunstervillorum VII: the Epidendrum nocturnum alliance in the Venezuelan Guayana and the Guianas. Lindleyana 11(4):239-249.

Christenson, E. A. 1991. The last Physinga Lindl. (Orchidaceae). Phytologia 70(3):147-148.

Christenson, E. A. 1996. Mesoamerican orchid studies VII: a name change for Epidendrum viejii. Lindleyana 11(4):223.

Christenson, E. A. 1998. Orchid portrait: Epidendrum longicaule. Orchids 67(6):590-593.

Cocucci, A. E. and W. A. Jensen 1969. Orchid embryology: pollen tetrads of Epidendrum scutella in the anther and on the stigma. Plant 84:215-229.

Cocucci, A. E. and W. A. Jensen 1971. Orchid embryology: germinating male gametophyte of Epidendrum scutella. Kurtziana 6:25-39.

Correll, D. S. 1947. A new Epidendrum from Mexico. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 16(2):106-108.

Dod, D. D. 1975. Epidendrum buchii Cogn. redescubierta. Bol. Jardin Bot. Nac. 2(4):17-18.

Dod, D. D. 1975. Una nueva orquidea para el pais, Epidendrum soratae Rchb.f. Bol. Jardin Bot. Nac. 2(1):12.

Dressler, R. L. 1959. A name for an interesting Epidendrum. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 28(5):358-361.

Dressler, R. L. 1964. Another natural hybrid in Epidendrum. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 33(4):289-291.

Dressler, R. L. 1967. The genera Amblostoma, Lanium, and Stenoglossum (Orchidaceae). Brittonia 19:237-243.

Dressler, R. L. 1983. Epidanthus: ser o no sera? E. crassus, una nueva especie de Panama. Orquidea (Mex.) 9(1):13-19.

Fischer, F. E. L. and G. A. Meyer 1840. Seraphyta multiflora, eine neue Orchideen-Gattung aus Mexico. Bull. Sci. Acad. Imp. Petersb. 7:1-3.

Garay, L. A. 1953. O genera Amblostoma Scheidw. Orquidea 15(5):1-15.

Garay, L. A. 1967. A new Colombian Epidendrum. Orchid Rev. 75(890):280-281.

García-Cruz, J. and L. Sánchez Saldaña 1999. Epidendrum. Fl. Veracruz 112:1-110.

González Tamayo, R. 1993. Una nueva especie de Epidendrum (Orchidaceae) del Occidente de Mexico. Bol. IBUG 1(6):441-448.

Goss, G. J. 1977. The reproductive biology of the epiphytic orchids of Florida 5, Epidendrum difforme Jacquin. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 46(7):630-636.

Hagsater, E. 1980. Epidendra Mexicana Pollardiana 7: el complejo Epidendrum propinquum. Orquidea (Mex.) 7(4):313-333.

Hagsater, E. 1980. Additamenta as Epidendra Mexicana Pollardiana 7: Epidendrum liparidoglossum, sinonimo con E. ledifolium. Orquidea (Mex.) 7(4):385.

Hagsater, E. 1983. Epidendrum simulacrum, una especie altamente endemica de Panama. Orquidea (Mex.) 9(1):95-100.

Hagsater, E. 1984. Epidendra Mexicana Pollardiana 10: Epidendrum dorsocarinatum Hagsater, una nueva especie del Estado de Mexico. Orquidea (Mex.) 9(2):313-317.

Hagsater, E. 1984. Epidendrum trialatum, une nueva especie centroamericana. Orquidea (Mex.) 9(2):355-360.

Hagsater, E. 1986. Epidendra Pollardiana Mexicana 9: Epidendrum juergensenii Reichb.f. Orquidea (Mex.) 10:97-102.

Hagsater, E. 1987. Epidendra novae et criticae 2. Epidendrum macroclinium, una nueva especie del grupo Physinga, confundida con Epidendrum physodes. Orquidea (Mex.) 10:317-336.

Hagsater, E. 1987. Epidendra novae et criticae 3. Nuevas especies del grupo Epidendrum arbuscula de Mexico y Centroamerica. Orquidea (Mex.) 10:337-364.

Hagsater, E. 1988. Epidendra Mexicana Pollardiana 10: Epidendrum rosilloi, una nueva especie que honora a un Orquideologia Tapatio. Orquidea (Mex.) 11:9-12.

Hagaster, E. 1988. Epidendra nova et criticae 4: Nuevas especies del complejo Epidendrum difforme de Mexico y Centroamerica. Orquidea (Mex.) 11:23-42.

Hagsater, E. 1993. Epidendrum secundum or Epidendrum anceps. Orquidea (Mex.) 13(1-2):153-158.

Hagsater, E. 1993. New combinations in Encyclia and Epidendrum. Orquidea (Mex.) 13(1-2):215-218.

Hagsater, E. and R. T. Gonzalez 1983. Epidendrum neogaliciensis: una nueva especie de Jalisco, Mexico. Orquidea (Mex.) 9(1):143-149.

Hagsater, E. and R. T. Holman 1984. Epidendrum durangense Hagsater et Holman, una nueva especie del occidente de Mexico. Orquidea (Mex.) 9(2):299-307.

Hawkes, A. D. 1956. Notas nomenclatorialis em Epidendrum. Orquidea 18:168-178.

Hoehne, F. C. 1954. O que vem a ser Epidendrum imbricatum Lamarck. Orquidea 16:64-67.

Lojtnant, B. 1977. Notes on the genus Epidendrum (Orchidaceae) in Ecuador. Bot. Notiser 130:321-328.

Luer, C. A. 1981. Epidendrum troxalis, a new species from Ecuador (Orchidaceae). Selbyana 5:385.

Oesterreich, H. 1978. Beitrage zue systematik der Epidendrum secundum-gruppe. Die Orchidee 29:201-207, 252-259.

McCullough, R. 1980. Epidendrum cnemidophorum Lindley. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 49(11):1212-1215.

Robbins, S. and S. Bell 1991. 164. Epidendrum ilense. Kew Mag. 8(1):508.

Rosillo, S. V. 1984. Epidendrum examinis Rosillo. Orquidea (Mex.) 9(2):375-381.

Sanchez, L. and E. Hagsater 1993. Una nueva especie de Epidendrum (Orchidaceae) de Brasil. Orquidea (Mex.) 13(1-2):291-293.

Sargent, F. H. 1965. Eulophia ecristata and Epidendrum conopseum in Mississippi. Rhodora 67:48.

Sastre, C. 1990. Epidendrum bambusiformes de Guadeloupe et de Martinique. L’Orchidoph. 93:149-158.

Sastre, C. 1992. Les cals du Labelle chez les Epidendrum bambusiformes. L’Orchidoph. 100:17-20.

Schweinfurth, C. 1952. An attractive alpine Epidendrum. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 21(9):682-683.

Tamayo, R. G. 1993. Una nueva especie de Epidendrum (Orchidaceae) del occidente de México. Bol. IBUG 1(6):441-448.

Teuscher, H. 1964. Collector’s Item: Epidendrum pfavii. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 33(7):558-561.

Veyret, Y. 1982. Apomixie et variation chez Epidendrum nocturnum Jacq. (Orchidaceae). Adansonia 4(3-4):183-192.

Williams, L. O. 1940. A new Epidendrum from Mexico. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 9(4):96-97.

Williams, L. O. 1941. Two new Epidendrums from Mexico. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 10(4):103-105.

Williams, L. O. 1942. A new Epidendrum from Panama. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 11(7):248-249.

Withner, C. L. 1969. Epidendrum rowleyi, a new species to honor a naturalist. Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 38(9):779-782.