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

1. Lepanthopsis melanantha (Reichenbach f.) Ames, Bot. Mus. Leafl. 1: 19. 1933.

Pleurothallis melanantha Reichenbach f., Flora 48: 275. 1865; Lepanthes brevipetala Fawcett & Rendle; L. harrisii Fawcett & Rendle

Plants cespitose, 4–7 cm. Roots slender. Stems 1.5–5 cm; sheaths 4–8, closely appressed, ciliate. Leaves: petiole 2–4 mm; blade 12–25 × 6–13 mm, base cuneate, apex subacute to obtuse. Inflorescences from near apex of stem, few- to several-flowered racemes, ± congested, to 10 mm; spathe absent; peduncle filiform, 15–30 mm; bracts 0.75–1 mm; pedicels 0.5–1 mm. Flowers dark red-purple, glabrous; sepals slightly keeled; dorsal sepal free, broadly ovate, concave, 1.25–1.5 × 1.25–1.5 mm, apex obtuse; lateral sepals connate proximal to middle, oblong, 1.5–1.8 × 0.8–1 mm, apex obtuse; petals oblong-obovate, 0.5–0.6 × 0.2–0.4 mm, apex obtuse; lip 1 × 1 mm, base broadly cordate, apex obtuse to rounded, lobes broadly rounded, embracing column; disc slightly concave with distinct, smooth, shallow depression immediately distal to base; column 0.4 × 0.5 mm; ovary 0.5 mm.

Flowering sporadically throughout year. Moist forests; 0--60 m; Fla.; West Indies (Greater Antilles).

Lepanthopsis melanantha is recognized by its small stature and shoots with ciliate sheaths with dilated mouths; a relatively short, distichous raceme of few or several, simultaneous, dark red-purple flowers, usually surpassing the leaf; and a broadly ovate, concave, dorsal sepal, with oblong lateral sepals connate proximal to the middle, minute petals, and a broadly cordate, obtuse lip with a smooth, shallow depression at the base. It is known in the flora area only from the Fahkahatchee Swamp in Collier County, Florida.


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