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Project Name Data (Last Modified On 11/11/2012)
 

Flora Data (Last Modified On 11/11/2012)
Genus MASDEVALLiA Ruiz & Pavon
PlaceOfPublication Fl. Peruv. & Chil. Prodr. ed. 1, 122. 1794
Reference Fl. Peruv. & Chil. Prodr. ed. 2, 110,) t. 27. 1797; Woolward, Genus Masdevallia. 1896; Kranzl. in Fedde Rep. Sp. Nov. Beih. 34:1-202. 1925.
Description Caespitose or repent, epiphytic or terrestrial herbs. Secondary stems usually very short, bearing a single leaf and a peduncle or the leaves and peduncles borne on separate stems. Leaves most often broadest toward the apex and attenuated into a petiole at the base, with an abscission at the end of the secondary stem and another slightly above. Peduncles usually 1- to 2-flowered. Sepals connate into a tube at the base or to the middle or beyond, the free portions often spreading, the tips usually developed into slender tails, produced into a mentum at the base. Petals very much smaller than the sepals, usually narrow. Lip small, articulated to the column-foot, about as long as the column. Column erect, produced into a column-foot at the base; margins of the clinandrium usually membranaceous and denticulate. Anther terminal, operculate, incumbent; pollinia 2, ceraceous.
Note A large and complex genus of some 250 species. The species are most abindant in cool mountain regions of the tropics of the New World. The genus was once very popular with orchid fanciers, some of the rarer or more beautiful species commanding fabulous prices. Masdevaltia connects to the genus -Pleurothallis at several points, notably through such species as M. Allenii L. Wms., which differs but slightly from the species of Schlechter's Barbosella (previously reduced to Pleurothallis). Seapho- sepalum has several species which are "connecting links" between Masdevallia and Pleurothallis. Lindley's genus Restrepia, which I have reduced to Pleurothallis, contains some intermediate species between Pleurothallis and Masdevallia, and if Restrepia were to be maintained as a genus most of the species which were re- ferred to Barbosella and many of the species of Masdevallia ? Triaristell'a (M. triaristella Reichb. f., M. Allenii L. Wms., etc.) should be placed there. There is little or no technical reason why Pleurothallis (and Stelis too) should not be re- duced to Masdevallia, but it would serve no practical purpose to do so. Pleuro- thallis and Masdevallia are both large and technical and most of the species can be placed in the proper genus readily.
Key a, Tails of the lateral sepals originating below the apex . .... 8. M. ALLENII aa. Tails of the lateral sepals, if present, terminal. b. Lateral sepals with transverse calluses at the base ....7. M. SIMULA bb. Lateral sepals without transverse calluses at the base. c. Callus at the base of the petal free and appearing to be a cauda.. 1. M. COLLINA cc. Callus lacking at the base of the petal, or if present not free. d. Lip less than 2.5 mm. long ......... 6. M. TENUISSIMA dd. Lip more than 2.5 mm. long. e. Dorsal sepal prolonged into a subfiliform tail. f. Peduncle usually 2-flowered, about as long as the leaves or longer; lip up to 4 mm. long .............................................. 3. M. CHONTALENSIS ff. Peduncle 1-flowered, always shorter than the leaves; lip more than 4 mm. long .2. M. ATTENUATA ee. Dorsal sepal either without tails, or with tails not filiform. f. Free part of the dorsal sepal lanceolate or lanceolate-ovate, erect ...................................................... 4. M. ECAUDATA ff. Free part of the dorsal sepal ligulate or lanceolate-ligulate, recurved ..................................................................... 5. M . LIVINGSTONEANA
 
 
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