Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Dichaea trulla

Reichb.f., Beitr. Orch. Central Amer. 104.1866

D. powellii Schlechter

Erect or ± pendent, epiphytic herb; pseudobulbs lacking; stem unbranched, 15-45 cm long, enveloped by condup­licate leaf bases, the terminal portion bearing 6-12 leaves. Leaves distichously imbricating; blades spreading, linear-­ligular, acute to acuminate, 6-13 cm long, to 6 mm wide, articulated at base, eventually deciduous. Flowers few, solitary from leaf axils; pedicel with a cucullate bract at apex; sepals and petals subequal, ± lance-elliptic, pale yellow-green, to 1.3 cm long and 4 mm wide, ± acute; lip purplish or green marked with purple, the claw at base broad and ligular, the blade somewhat expanded, trilob­ate, folded into an open-sided tube, the lateral lobes retrorse; column shorter than lip. Capsules glabrous, shiny, smooth, to 1.6 cm long. Shattuck 1012.

Apparently rare, in the forest. Known to flower in the early rainy season (May to August).

Easily distinguished from D. panamensis by having flowers many times shorter than the leaves.

Honduras to Venezuela, Guyana, and Brazil. In Pan­ama, known from tropical moist forest in the Canal Zone and from premontane wet forest in Colon and Panama; no doubt occurring in tropical moist forest in Darien since it has been collected in Colombia (Chocó, near the Panamanian border).