Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Aspasia principissa

Reichb.f., Bot. Zeitung (Berlin) 10:367.1852

A. epidendroides var. principissa (Reichb.f.) P. H. Allen

Epiphyte; pseudobulbs oblong-elliptic, flattened, to 16 cm long and 4.5 cm wide, 2-leaved, stipitate, with leaflike imbricating bracts at base. Petioles conduplicate; blades lanceolate to ligular, 10-41 cm long,   1.7-5.5 cm wide.

Racemes 1 or 2, erect, few-flowered, from base of pseudo­bulb; sepals and lateral petals lanceolate to oblong, acute at apex, pale green striped with brown or purple, to 4 cm long, the petals slightly broader than sepals; lip ± fiddle-shaped, to 2.5 cm wide, white to pale yellow with pink or lavender streaks, wavy on margin, clawed at base, the claw fused to column at base then diverging abruptly; column to 2.5 cm long. Fruits narrowly fusiform, ribbed, to 8 cm long, usually bearing the persistent sepals. Croat 8496.

Common in the forest, sometimes occurring on tree trunks near the ground. Flowers principally in the dry season (late December to mid-May), mostly from mid­-January to mid-February.

Pollinated by the bees Eulaema and Exaerte (fide Dres­sler, pers. comm.).

Guatemala to Panama. Widespread in tropical moist forests throughout Panama.

See Fig. 160.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Aspasia principissa
  • Aspasia principissa, flower