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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 26 | Orchidaceae | Bletia

1. Bletia purpurea (Lamarck) de Candolle, Mém. Soc. Phys. Genève. 9: 97, 100. 1841.

Pine-pink, purple bletia, sharp-petaled bletia

Limodorum purpureum Lamarck in J. Lamarck et al., Encycl. 3: 515. 1791; Bletia acutipetala Hooker; B. havanensis Lindley; B. verecunda (Salisbury) R. Brown; Cymbidium verecundum (Salisbury) Swartz; Gyas verecunda (Salisbury) Salisbury; Limodorum trifidum Michaux; L. verecundum Salisbury; Thiebautia nervosa Colla

Plants to 180 cm. Roots numerous, 1–1.5 mm diam. Stems: pseudobulbs ovoid, 2–4 cm diam. Leaves: blade linear to narrowly elliptic-lanceolate, 20–100 × 1–5 cm, apex acuminate. Inflorescences 25–170 cm; floral bracts ovate-triangular to ovate-lanceolate, 2–9 mm, apex acute to acuminate. Flowers 3–80, mostly pink, rosy purple, or deep purple, rarely almost white; sepals spreading; dorsal sepal oblong-elliptic to ovate-lanceolate, 15–26 × 5–9 mm, apex subobtuse to acute; lateral sepals obliquely ovate-oblong to elliptic-oblong, 12–20 × 5–8 mm, apex acute to acuminate; petals erect, forming hood over column, oblong-ovate to elliptic or oblong-lanceolate, 12–21 × 7–11 mm, apex obtuse to acute; lip adnate to column foot, purple-veined with dark margin especially distally, cordate to ovate, 3-lobed, 10–18 × 8–14 mm, middle lobe recurved, suborbiculate, truncate to deeply emarginate, margins undulate-crenulate, lateral lobes incurved, base rounded, apex triangular-obtuse; disc lamellae yellow, 5–7; column white or greenish, clavate, 8–12 mm; column foot present; pedicellate ovary slender, 9–18 mm. Capsules erect to suberect, 2–4.5 cm × 8–10 mm. 2n = 60 (as B. verecunda from Mexico).

Flowering Dec--May, sporadically all year. Pinelands and hammocks, in humus over limestone, or in swamps on logs, stumps, or base of cypress trees above high water level; 0--20 m; Fla.; Mexico; West Indies; Central America; South America.


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