Stenomesson sp. nov.:
This amaryllid grows near Podocarpus
National Park in southern Ecuador, on shear rock cliffs in cloud forest
at about 1200m. Alan Meerow and I will describe it..
Eucharis sp. nov.: This
amaryllid also grows near Podocarpus National Park in southern Ecuador.
I found it while searching for a "lost" amaryllid, Pamianthe
sp., which was known from a single specimen collected by Cal Dodson years
ago on the Loja-Zamora road. While walking along the roadside a local
passer-by recognized my companions, Bob Ridgely, Nigel Simpson, and Pancho
Sornoza, and stopped to talk. I asked him if he had ever seen a white
flower coming from a bulb around there, and he said yes. So the next day Nigel
and I went with him, expecting to find Pamianthe, but instead
we found leaves of this unknown Eucharis, which finally bloomed
in my bathroom three months later. Alan Meerow and I will describe it..
Habenaria sp. nov.: I
discovered this terrestrial orchid in one of the Jocotoco Foundation's
bird conservation reserves. Their reserves are very important for plant
conservation as well as for bird conservation. See Orchids
of the Jocotoco Reserves for a report.
3 New Psilochilus species:
These three species all grew in
the same place on the Galeras Mountains near Volcan Sumaco in eastern
Ecuador. They are currently being described by Erik Rothacker and myself,
and Erik is also sequencing their DNA. See all three species at Psilochilus.
Campylocentrum jostii Dodson:
An unusual genus related to the
vandaceous orchids of Asia rather than to neotropical groups. I found
this species in a beautiful wet ridgetop forest in the Rio Topo-Rio Zuñac
valley near Baños, Ecuador.
Stellilabium jostii Dodson:
This tiny orchid mimics the rear
end of a female fly, and male flies try to mate with it, thus pollinating
the flower. I found it in May 2003 near Mera on the eastern edge of my
2 New Brachionidium species:
Two species of Brachionidium
that I found in the Cordillera del Condor in Dec 2002 are new. They are
both like B. galeatum (which I also found on the same trip) but
they have lips that are rather different from that species and from each
other. For more info see my Cordillera
del Condor Report and my article for Selbyana, New
Pleurothallid Orchids from the Cordillera del Condor of Ecuador.
Five more new Teagueia species!:
In Jan 2003 my friends R. and D.
Kunstaetter and I trekked for nine days in the virtually unknown mountains
south of the Rio Pastaza near my home in central Ecuador. We found fourteen
species of Teagueia, including five new species (see my
monograph for additional photos). Most of the new species
grew at or above timberline. This was the first trip in which I managed
to get so high up on a Teagueia mountain; it may be that there
are more new species above timberline on the other Teagueia mountains
in my study area. Stay tuned!
Masdevallia loui Luer:
Another new warm-growing Masdevallia
from the same forest as Masdevallia stigii (see below). Stig
Dalstrom came to visit me over Christmas 2002, and we went back to the
same general area where we had found the Masdevallia stigii.
To our surprise we found many other Masdevallia species, at least
one of them new. Dr. Luer has described this new one as M. loui
in his fifth volume of his Masdevallia monographs. It seems closely
related to M. lintricula.
Ponthieva jostii Dodson:
This orchid comes from Cerro Mayordomo,
like Maxillaria kunstaetterorum and many other new orchid species.
I discovered it while totally lost. I had forgotten my compass but didn't
notice until I was high up on Mayordomo, trying to get down. Low clouds
obscured the ridgelines, and I mistook the hills south of Mayordomo for
the hills west of Mayordomo. So I was disoriented by 90 degrees, and kept
coming up against vertical dropoffs where I was expecting a gentle ridgeline.
I had just about resigned myself to sleeping in that cold wet forest without
a tent or food or water, when I found a cut tree. That eventually led
me to a faint trail and a way out of the maze of dangerous cliffs.
In Oct 2002 Dr. Dodson confirmed that it was new
and was in the process of describing it.
Masdevallia stigii Luer
and Jost: In March 2001 Stig
Dalstrom and I were exploring some low mountains in my study area. Stig,
who has painted many species of Masdevallia and knows the genus
well, found several nonflowering Masdevallia plants that he suspected
might be new. He gave two plants to me. A year later one of them finally
flowered, and it indeed turned out to be new, and exceptionally beautiful
too. Unfortunately there are only a couple of plants known. Stig and I went
to look for it again in Dec 2002, and found a few more plants of this species
(and we discovered another new species as well; see M. loui above).
Dr Carl Luer has described M. stigii in the fifth volume of his
I discovered this species in Nov 2001 on Cerro Mayordomo, with my friends
Robert and Daisy Kunstaetter (who have just published their book, Trekking
in Ecuador). We were camping on that mountain, trying
to reach the summit. Unfortunately the weather was unusually good, so there
was no rainwater to collect for drinking, and no streams on the knife-edge
ridgeline that was the only access to the summit. Robert and I were reduced
to squeezing the dew from moss, and while collecting the moss I noticed
this peculiar Maxillaria that I had never seen before. Dr. Calaway
Dodson has examined it and in October 2002 confirmed that it is a new species.
He is in the process of describing it. I asked that it be named after my
patient hiking companions.
TWENTY new Teagueia species!!:
In Feb 2000 I discovered the first
four long-creeping Teagueia species, described by Dr Carl Luer
in Volume XX of his Icones monographs. I found them on Cerro
Mayordomo; they are Teagueia alyssana, T. sancheziae,
T. jostii, and T. cymbisepala.Then in late 2001 I discovered
another large set of new creeping Teagueia species on the next
mountain west of Mayordomo. In May 2002 I sent two of my students, Andy
Shephard and Pailin Wedel, to a mountain south of Mayordomo, and they
discovered yet another big set of new species. I have since discovered
still more species on Mayordomo, and it is clear that there must be many
more in the region. This is one of the strangest and most surprising situations
in all of Ecuadorian botany. The discoveries are described in more detail
Explosion!, and each species is treated in the online
Monograph of the Genus Teagueia Luer (Orchidaceae)
which I am preparing for this website. I am in the process of making the
botanical illustrations necessary for their description.
Epidendrum LJ 3762 :
In Nov 2001 I found this Epidendrum at high elevations (3200m)
on Cerro Mayordomo. Epidendrum is a very diverse genus, and often
overlooked. I collected this one because it was very different from any
other I had ever seen, and because everything else on that mountain was
turning out to be new. Dr. Dodson showed it to Dr. Eric Hagsater, the expert
on Epidendrum, and he confirmed that it is new. I do not know when
it will be published.
Jost and Luer: In Nov 2001 I found
this Lepanthes at a high elevation (2800m) on Cerro Mayordomo.
I only found one plant. It is rather like L. tungurahuae, but
the wing-shaped lip and oddly shaped petals distinguish it. It has been
published in Dr. Carl Luer's Icones Pleurothallidinarum XXVII.
Jost and Luer: This very hairy new
Lepanthes is one of a number of closely related species, including
L. zunagensis, L. urotepala, and the undescribed species
LJ 2492b and LJ 3494. I found it in late Nov 2002 on my nine day expedition
into the poorly known Sacha Llanganates mountains. All of these related
species grew together in exactly the same place, at 2100-2300 m. I only
found one plant of this species, unfortunately. It has been published in
Dr. Carl Luer's Icones Pleurothallidinarum XXVII.
Lepanthes LJ 3494 :
This new Lepanthes is one of a number of closely related species--see
above, under LJ 3580. I found it in late Nov 2002 on my nine day expedition
into the remote Sacha Llanganates mountains.
Lepanthes LJ 3408 :
This new Lepanthes is another of the many new species of subgenus
Brachycladium that I have found on the Cordillera Abitagua and
the Sacha Llanganates. I found it without flowers but suspected it might
be new, so I took it home and grew it. It finally flowered after a year
Jost: This striking
new Lepanthes was growing in a very remote part of the Cordillera
del Condor, near the border between Ecuador and Peru. This mountain range
is isolated from the main body of the Andes, and is geologically unique,
so it has many endemic species. Nevertheless the area has not been well
explored, because of border tensions (including skirmishes and landmines).
A recent peace treaty between the two nations has demilitarized the border,
opening it up for botanical exploration. In early 2001 I went on an expedition
led by David Neill of the Herbario Nacional, flying in to a remote airstrip
cut out of the forest by Shuar indians (the famous tribe that until recently
shrunk the heads of their enemies). The Shuar helped us reach a
strange sandstone plateau at 2000m that was so sterile and free of nutrients
that its woody plants were all stunted. Some terrestrial Sobralia
orchids actually overtopped the canopy of the stunted trees. Jose Manzanares
accompanied us and found many new bromeliad species here.
I found this Lepanthes
at the foot of the sandstone mesa. It was without flowers but it had an
old dry inflorescence that was very unusual, so I collected it. I kept
it alive until, more than a year later, it finally flowered and proved
to be a new species. It is described in Selbyana 25:11-16
(2004); see New
Pleurothallid Orchids from the Cordillera del Condor of Ecuador.
Maxillaria jostii Dodson:
On our 2001 expedition to the Cordillera del Condor (see Lepanthes
LJ3154, above) David Neill and I each found a plant of this spectacular
new Maxillaria growing in white sand. Since there was already a M. neillii,
Dr Dodson chose to name it after me. I have drawn it (click
here for the drawing) and Dr. Dodson is publishing it. It has also appeared
in Vol. 3 of Dodson and Hirtz's Native Orchids of Ecuador.
Jost and Luer: I found two plants
of this new species in the same place as Masdevallia "stigii"
(see above). The plants are virtually identical to L. benzingii
in form and in habit, and the flowers also have the same color pattern as
L. benzingii. In the field I mistook them for that species, but
I collected them anyway for my studies of geographical variation in
Lepanthes. When I got home and examined them under a microscope I was
surprised to see that the flowers were structurally completely different
from L. benzingii. The appendix (a tiny organ on the lip that presumably
imitates the female genitalia of the pollinator) is one of the most complex
of any Lepanthes appendices. Since finding the first plants, I
have also found this species on the Cordillera Galeras. It has been published
in Dr. Carl Luer's Icones Pleurothallidinarum XXVII.
Lepanthes LJ 2680:
Francisco Sanchez found the first plant of this species lying on the ground
in a very wet windy forest that we were visiting. It must have been broken
off by the wind. Only one growth was present on the broken plant, but there
was a flower, so I knew it was a new species. We looked hard for the mother
plant, but to no avail. We did find numerous Trichosalpinx-like
plants, with long chains of leaves and stems, each growing from the base
of the previous leaf. I took some of those home to grow. When they bloomed
I realized that they were not Trichosalpinx at all but our new
Lepanthes, though with a very un-Lepanthes-like growth
habit. The only other Lepanthes in Ecuador that make these kind
of chains of growths are L. series and my L. serialina.
This one had fooled me completely. Luckily I had accidentally collected
plenty of specimens thinking they were Trichosalpinx. I have drawn
it but took too long....another orchid investigator found it and Dr. Luer
published his discovery.
Lepanthes LJ 2501:
On 9 Dec 2000 I managed to get quite a bit higher than I had previously
gone in the Cordillera Abitagua. I was excited to find four new species
of Lepanthes in a single hour, including this distinctive one
with a narrow lip appressed to the column. I have drawn it for Dr. Luer.
Jost and Luer: This is another of
the new species I discovered on 9 Dec 2000, when I managed to get higher
than I had previously gone in the Cordillera Abitagua. This one is somewhat
controversial because of its similarity to the highly variable L. mucronata.
Dr Luer is not yet convinced it is a good species. However, I found many
of these plants at two sites ten kilometers apart, and all were alike. I
also found true L. mucronata at these same sites, growing very
close to these individuals, yet there were no intermediates. I believe they
are different species, because they are sympatric without interbreeding.
They also look very different from L. mucronata in life, with a
more or less downward facing, almost campanulate flower as opposed to L.
mucronata's more horizontal flower with longer petal "whiskers".
It has been published in Dr. Carl Luer's Icones Pleurothallidinarum
Lepanthes LJ 2492b:
This is another of the new species I discovered on 9 Dec 2000 in the Cordillera
Abitagua. It is distinguished by the big lower petal lobes which are longer
than the upper lobes, the reverse of most Lepanthes. There are
several closely related species in this mountain system, including L.
zunagensis, L. urotepala, and at least three new species.
All but L. urotepala are endemic to my study area (see Biogeography
of the Pastaza Watershed), and these endemic ones probably
all evolved from L. urotepala. I am drawing it for Dr. Luer to
publish in early 2003.
this page I do not include species I discovered between 1998 and 2000,
since those have all been adequately published. Those species will however
be dealt with in my Biogeography
of the Pastaza Watershed online book. Here I simply list them:
C. A. 2002. Icones Pleurothallidinarum
XXIV: A First Century of New Species of Stelis
of Ecuador, Part 1. St. Louis: Missouri Botanical
Lepanthes exigua Luer and
Jost, p. 94.
C. A. 2000. Icones Pleurothallidinarum
XX: Sytematics of Jostia, Andinia,
Barbosella, Barbodria, and Pleurothallis
subgen. Antilla, subgen. Effusia,
St. Louis: Missouri Botanical Garden:
|New genus Jostia Luer,
|Lepanthes pendula Luer
and Jost, p. 118.
|L. tetrachaeta Luer
and Jost, p. 119.
|Teagueia alyssana Luer
and Jost, p. 131.
|T. cymbisepala Luer
and Jost, p.132.
|T. jostii Luer, p.
|T. sancheziae Luer
and Jost, p. 133.
C. A. 1999. Icones Pleurothallidinarum
XVIII: Sytematics of Pleurothallis
subgen. Pleurothallis sect. Pleurothallis
subsect. Longiracemosae, subsect.
Perplexae, subgen. Pseudostelis,
subgen. Acuminatia. St. Louis: Missouri
Luer and Jost, p. 139.
|L. aprina Luer and
Jost, p. 139.
|L. barbigera Luer and
Jost, p. 140.
|L. elytrifera Luer
and Jost, p. 140.
|L. hispidosa Luer and
|L. hydrae Luer and
Jost, p. 141.
|L. jostii Luer, p.
L. marshana Luer
and Jost, p. 142.
|L. privigna Luer and
Jost, p. 143.
L. ruthiana Luer
and Jost, p. 147.
|L. staatsiana Luer
and Jost, p. 147.
C. A. 1998. Icones Pleurothallidinarum
XVII: Sytematics of Subgen. Pleurothallis
sect. Abortivae, sect. Truncatae,
sect. Pleurothallis subsect.
Acroniae, subsect. Pleurothallis,
subgen. Dracontia, subgen. Unciferia..
St. Louis: Missouri Botanical Garden:
Luer and Jost, p.104.
|L. mooreana Luer and
Jost, p. 106.
|L. serialina Luer and
Jost, p. 107.
|L. viebrockiana Luer
and Jost, p. 108.
My painting of Lepanthes viebrockiana.
For more of my paintings, click
want to express my sincerest gratitude to Dr. Carl Luer for his help and
guidance in my orchid studies. Special thanks to John and Ruth Moore for
their generous financial support since the beginning via donations to the
Population Biology Foundation, and to the San
Diego County Orchid Society for their continuing support. Thanks also
to the Orchid Resource
Center, the Center for International Studies-Andean Study Programs,
Kent and Cherise Udell, and R. Bozek and Alyssa Roberts. The discoveries
reported here are theirs as well as mine.