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Myrmecophila brysiana (Lem.) G. C. Kenn.


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Myrmecophila brysiana (Lem.) G. C. Kenn. (George C. Kennedy) published in Orchid Digest 43(6), pp210/11. (1979). Not digitised.

Basionym Schomburgkia brysiana Lem. (Antoine Charles Lemaire) published in Jardin Fleuriste 1: Misc. 34, f1-4. (1851) . (Jard. Fleur.). Not digitised.

Synonyms Schomburgkia campecheana (Lem). Kraenzlin (1903). Common name Brys's Schomburgkia.

Ecology. Often ant inhabited.

Description, its flowers are among the most beautiful of the genus but some variability in their colours may indicate there is more than a single species here. (Carnevali 2011.) It is a large epiphyte with fusiform-conical, hollow, sulcate pseudobulbs to 50 cm with 2, coriaceous, ovate-elliptic, apically retuse-rounded leaves. Flowers occur in winter and spring on terminal 900 mm (3') to possibly 1.5 metre (4.92') long, erect, paniculate, inflorescences that are partly covered by sterile sheathing bracts and fertile, triangular, acute floral bracts with many yellow flowers. These are smaller than those of M. tibicinis and have shorter columns. They are also different in having a distinct claw at the base of the lip's mid lobe with only 3 raised or elevated veins on the disc; tibicinis has 5 to 7.

Habitats, epiphytic in low dense mangroves along rivers and seashores to 200 m. (656 ft.) The climate can at times be very hot, but humidity is always high.

Range, a very common and most widely distributed Myrmecophila found from Mexico, (Campeche and Quintana Roo States on the Gulf Coast, to Central America (Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, to Costa Rica (Santa Rosa National Park, Guanacaste). (Carnevali et al. 2003 & Carnevali 2011.)

Images. There is enormous confusion about Myrmecophila orchids even in horticultural circles that are supposedly specialist, therefore most Internet images are unreliable; however, there are authentic images here, along with a lectotypification.


Jay's note in the M. tibicinis thread may also have some relevance.

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