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Masdevallia notosibirica

Masdevallia notosibirica

Botany Photo of the Day will have brief written entries on weekends, holidays and my vacations from April through September. – Daniel

Thank you to Eric in SF@Flickr for sharing today's image (original | BPotD Flickr Group Pool).

There are over five hundred species in the genus Masdevallia, distributed from Mexico south to Brazil. For this particular species, its epithet notosibirica translates to “of the south Siberia”; this refers to the cloud forests of Serranía de Siberia in Bolivia (learned via Orchids of the Pleurothallid Alliance).


The original Flickr photo is especially good for your desktop background, if I do say so myself. =)

Props to the grower, Tom Perlite, as this was the best blooming I've ever seen on this species.

What are the anther-like yellow bits popping out the ends?

Plants in the Pleurothallidinae tribe have structures at the ends of their sepals called sepaline tails.

In this species, the sepals have fused to form a tube, but in others, they are only partially fused, creating a triangle shape. A front on view of the flower would show three tails, one for each of the petals.

The petals and lip are greatly reduced and are located deep inside the flower.

That doesn't look like any Masdivallia I ever saw.
Wonder if the sepaline tails continue to grow as the flower ages? The Orchid family is one of the most fascinating for me. Never got bit by the growing collecting bug, but have studied them for years.
Love your site, by the way. Wouldn't miss it! Look forward to it every day.

UPDATE: This shot is the centerfold 'pin-up' for the Oct-Nov-Dec 2008 issue of The Orchid Digest.

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