Embreea rodigasiana in bud, July 2008, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Embreea rodigasiana in bud

The Genus Embreea

Native to Colombia and Ecuador.

Edited 30 July 2008
© Nina Rach

This genus is named for Alvin Embree, American Orchidologist; abbreviated Embr.

It was first described as Stanhopea rodigasiana by Claes ex Cogn. in the Chronique Orchideenne in 1898. However, as there are differences in the floral structure and plant habit that are distinctly different from all other Stanhopeas, it was placed in a separate, monotypic genus, Embreea, by Calaway H. Dodson (Phytologia 46(6): 389. 1980).

Embreea rodigasiana 'Caudebec' AM/AOS

Embreea rodigasiana, the type species, has single-flowered inflorescenses, while most Stanhopea species have many-flowered inflorescences, and the mesochile of E. rodigasiana bears four horns, while Stanhopea species have two horns. Grows in wet cloud forests.

The photo at left shows Embreea rodgasiana 'Caudebec' AM/AOS.

Arnie Klehm describes it: "The most impressive of all species in the Stanhopea family. Long pendant inflorescences bear a single large white blooms blotched and blushed with dark burgundy. Delightful fragrance. Compact grower."

Twelve years later, Rudolf Jenny described a second species in the genus, Embreea herrenhusana Jenny (2002).

Below right, Embreea rodigasiana buds in July 2008

Embreea rodigasiana buds in July 2008


Calaway H. Dodson (1980) "Embreea rodigasiana (Claes ex Cogn.) Dodson," in: Phytologia 46(6): 389. [original publication of the genus]

Rodrigo R. Escobar [ed.] (19--) Native Colombian Orchids, Volume 1: Acacallis-Dryadella. Medellin: Compania Litografica Nacional S.A. [1: Embreea, 164-165].

Guenther Gerlach (1999) "80. Subtribus: Stanhopeinae und 81. Subtribus: Coeliopsidinae (Teil 1)," in: Schlechter, Die Orchideen, Band I, Teil C, Lieferung 37/38, 128 p. with 142 B&W illustrations, in German [849. Soterosanthus; 850. Brasilocycnis; 851. Polycycnis; 852. Kegeliella; 853. coryanthes; 854. Stanhopea; 855. Sievekingia; 856. Embreea; 857. Gongora; 858. Cirrhaea; 859. Paphinia; 860. Horichia; 861. Houlletia; 862. Schlimmia; 863. Trevoria; 864. Acineta; 865. Lueddemannia; 866. Lacaena; 867. Vasqueziella; 868. Braemia]

Rudolf Jenny (1985) 'The Genus Embreea,' in: Orchid Digest 49: 65. [includes Stanhopea rodigasiana and Embreea rodigasiana]

Rudolf Jenny (Dec. 1993) 'The Genus Stanhopea,' in: AOS Bulletin 62(12): 1271-1277; includes the very useful 'Preliminary List of Stanhopea Species'. [photos of: Stan. shuttleworthii, hernandezii, jenischiana x connata, eccornuta, deltoidea, connata, candida, tricornis; Embreea rodigasiana; Stan. Mem. Paul Allen]

Rudolf Jenny (2001) Embreea rodigasiana (Claes ex Cogn.) Dodson var. herrenhusana Jenny, in: Australian Orchid Review 66(1): 24.

Rudolf Jenny (2002) "A new species of Embreea from Colombia," in: Australian Orchid Review 67(1): 13-14.

E. Lückel, Rudolf Jenny, & Guido J. Braem (1984) "Embreea rodigasiana (Claes ex Cogniaux) Dodson: eine unechte Stanhopee," in: Die Orchidee 35(6): 211-212.

Samuel Sprunger (1986) Orchids from Curtis's Botanical Magazine. [Embreea rodigasiana].

Norris H. Williams and W. Mark Whitten (Aug 1999) "Molecular phylogeny and floral fragrances of male euglossine bee-pollinated orchids: A study of Stanhopea (Orchidaceae)," in: Plant Species Biology 14(2): 129-136. [Stanhopea __; Embreea rodigasiana]

Abstract: "A molecular phylogeny was estimated for 23 species of the genus Stanhopea and its sister taxon the monotypic Embreea (Orchidaceae) using the internally transcribed spacer regions-1 and -2 (ITS). We compared the molecular phylogeny with data on floral fragrances and pollination biology. In a few instances, the fragrance data reflected the molecular phylogeny of some of the species groups, but for the most part, fragrance data were homoplasious and not reliable indicators of phylogeny as determined from the independently derived molecular data set."

Web links:

Embreea rodigasiana - The plant magnificently grown by Mr. Jean De Schaever, Belgium. [link updated Jan. 2004!]

Photos by Jean-Marie Vanderwinden, Belgium: plant, and flower.

Photo by Linda Fortner, from The Orchid Lady's Orchid Encyclopedia.

AOS awards:

Embreea rodigasiana 'Caudebec' AM/80 pts, February 10, 1994.
Awarded at the Orchid Society of Quito Show, Quito, Ecuador. Exhibitor: Mario Portilla, Cuenca, Ecuador.
Description: One star-shaped, medium cream-colored flower on one descending inflorescense; anterior of sepals heavily blotched mahogany, edges liberally freckled pale mahogany, reverse side heavily spotted mahogany showing through; petals lightly sprinkled mahogany toward medial half, heavier spots anterior three-fourths; lip intricate, evenly spotted mahogany; column white, slightly tinged green, evenly overlaid with mahogany spots; substance firm; texture satiny. Nat. spr. 16.0cm, 12.0cm vert; ds 4.0cm w, 7.5cm l; pet 2.5cm w, 8.5cm l; ls 5.0cm w, 9.0cm l; lip 4.0cm w, 10.0cm l.

Comments? Send e-mail: to stanhopea@ autrevie.com.

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