Flora of Barro Colorado Island

Psygmorchis pusilla

(L.) Dods. & Dressl., Phytologia 24:288.1972

Oncidium pusillum (L.) Reichb.f.

Dwarf epiphyte, to 8 cm tall; pseudobulbs lacking. Leaves ± dense, spreading like a fan, equitant, ± linear, 2-6 cm long, to 1 cm wide. Inflorescences 1-6 from base of leaves, about equaling leaves, consisting of long scapes, the apices with several acute, strongly compressed, im­bricating sheaths; flowers produced in succession from axils of sheaths; flowers 2-2.5 cm long; sepals free, spreading, bright yellow, keeled and apiculate, the dorsal sepal ca 5 mm long, nearly as wide, the lateral sepals

4-5 mm long, 1-1.5 mm wide, hidden by lateral lobes of lip; petals to 8 mm long and 4 mm wide, bright yellow streaked with reddish-brown, the margins undulate; lip trilobate, to 2 cm long and broad, bright yellow, the lateral lobes ± orbicular, the middle lobe deeply emar­ginate, the base with an elaborate subquadrate process; column ca 3 mm long, with prominent, denticulate, lateral wings. Fruits ellipsoid, ca 1.5 cm long, with slender ridges. Croat 4157.

Rare on BCI, more common elsewhere in Panama. Flowers during most of the year, but principally in the dry season. Known to flower more than once per season since plants often bear both flowers and fruits on separate inflorescences.

Often found in large colonies (especially on Citrus, 66. Rutaceae, trees) covering many of the branches. Mexico to Venezuela and south to Brazil and Bolivia; Trinidad. In Panama, known from tropical moist forest on both slopes of the Canal Zone and in Bocas del Toro, Panamd, and Darién.

Photos from STRI Digital Archive

  • Psygmorchis pusilla
  • Psygmorchis pusilla
  • Psygmorchis pusilla
  • Psygmorchis pusilla
  • Psygmorchis pusilla