Stanhopea anfracta

Rolfe 1904

Native to Panama, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia

Edited 9 May 2007

Photo by Dave Hunt

Stanhopea anfracta Rolfe

Originally published in Orchid Review 12:357 (1904), by Robert Allen Rolfe (1855-1921).

Some taxonomists question whether this is a valid species, or should be regarded as a variety of Stanhopea wardii:
Synonym: Stanhopea wardii var. venusta Rolfe, published in Lindenia 7: t. 315. 1892. - fide Calaway H. Dodson (1975)

Dodson says that the taxonomically-accepted name should be Stanhopea wardii G. Lodd. ex Lindl., published in: Sertum Orchidaceum t. 20. 1838. -fide C. Schweinfurth (1960)

Curiously, IPNI, the International Plant Names Index, did not contain any reference to Stanhopea anfracta, even as a synonym! IPNI's Stanhopea data comes from two major databases: Index Kewensis (IK) and the Gray Card Index (GCI). IPNI is the product of a collaboration between The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, The Harvard University Herbaria, and the Australian National Herbarium. However, both IK and GCI added the species in late Jan 2003, and IPNI should update within a month or two.

Photo at left by David Hunt, showing a plant blooming in Houston, Texas in January 2002.

Many authors have more recently published the opinion that Stanhopea anfracta is indeed a valid species (Curry 1987; Curry et al. 1988; Greer 1998; Jenny 1993, 1999; JÝrgensen 1999; Renner et al. 1990; Williams 1999). Dr. Rudolf Jenny states that the type specimen is at Kew. : Stanhopea anfracta Rolfe Orchid Review 12:357.1904; sin.loc., col..F.C.LEHMANN?, ex cult. O'BRIEN, ROLFE (K !). [pers. comm. 29 Jan 2003]

Photo by Pablo Bermudez

There are several features that distinguish Stanhopea anfracta from Stanhopea wardii, and from Stanhopea peruviana. S. anfracta has a forked column, but it does not have small hairs or horns at the end of the column (as does S. peruviana). At left, a photo of the column of S. anfracta, provided by Pablo Bermudez of a plant from Peru.
The TROPICOS database maintained by the Missouri Botanic Garden lists 12 specimens, all collected in Ecuador, five from Morona-Santiago (550, 800, 1400 m elevation), and six from Zamora-Chinchipe (700-1200 m elevation).

Photo by Dave Hunt



Photo at right by Dave Hunt, showing a plant blooming in Houston, Texas in January 2002.

Web References:

International Plant Names Index (IPNI) [no references from either Index Kewensis or the Gray Card Index!]

TROPICOS database at MOBOT [Missouri Botanic Garden]

Stanhopea anfracta from The Stanhopea Gallery at Oasis- The Journal (Australia)

Stanhopea anfracta at Bergstrom Orchids (Hawaii)

Peruvian Orchid Species by Club Peruano de Orquideas; Close-up, photo by Isaias Rolando

Printed References:

Kenneth J. Curry (Sept. 1987) "Initiation of terpenoid synthesis in osmophores of Stanhopea anfracta (Orchidaceae): a cytochemical study," in: American Journal of Botany 74(9): 1332-1338. Abstract:

Kenneth J. Curry, Lorraine M. McDowell, Walter S. Judd, & William Louis Stern (May 1991) "Osmophores, Floral Features, and Systematics of Stanhopea (Orchidaceae)," in: American Journal of Botany 78(5): 610-623. "The floral fragrance glands (osmophores) of 18 species of Stanhopea and Sievekingia were examined through a series of developmental studies at light and electron microscope levels including late bud stages through postanthesis..."
[Sievekingia; Stanhopea anfracta, annulata, candida, ecornuta, gibbosa, martiana, oculata, pulla, radiosa, ruckeri, saccata, shuttleworthii, tigrina, tricornis, vasquezii, and wardii] Link to abstract:

Kenneth J. Curry, William L. Stern, & Lorraine M. McDowell (1988) "Osmophore development in Stanhopea anfracta and S. pulla (Orchidaceae)," in: Lindleyana 3:212-220.

Calaway H. Dodson (1975) "Orchids of Ecuador: Stanhopea," in: Selbyana 1(2): 114--129.

Calaway H. Dodson & P.M. Dodson (1982) "Orchids of Upland Ecuador," in: Icones Plantarum Tropicarum 5: 401--500.

Barney Greer (1998) The Astonishing Stanhopeas: the upside-down flowers. Australia, 80p. [Stanhopea anfracta, p. 11, with color photo.]

Rudolf Jenny (1991) "Gongorinae, 7. Stanhopea, Teil IX - Stanhopea anfracta Rolfe, Stanhopea pozoi Dodson & Bennett, Stanhopea shuttleworthii Rchb.f.," in: Die Orchidee 42: 295.

Rudolf Jenny (Dec 1993) "The Genus Stanhopea," in: Orchids 62(12):1270-1277; includes a "Preliminary List of Stanhopea Species."

Rudolf Jenny (1999) The Gongorinae: 7. Stanhopea: part 19. Caesiana no. 12, pp. 11-20. [Stanhopea anfracta and S. pozoi]

Rudolf Jenny (Dec. 2003) "The Genus Stanhopea. Part 1: S. anfracta to S. napoensis," in: Caesiana no. 21, Supplement. 200 color photos, 160 p., Italian/English, covers 32 species.

P. M. JÝrgensen & S. Leůn-YŠnez (eds.) (1999) "Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Ecuador," in: Monographs in Systematic Botany from the Missouri Botanical Garden 75: i--viii, 1--1182.

S.S. Renner, H. Balslev & L. B. Holm-Nielsen (1990) "Flowering plants of Amazonian Ecuador---A checklist," in: AAU Reports 24: 1--241.

Robert Allen Rolfe (1892) Stanhopea wardii var. venusta, in: Lindenia 7: t. 315.

Robert Allen Rolfe (1904) Stanhopea anfracta, in: Orchid Review 12:357.

C. Schweinfurth (1960) "Orchidaceae, Orchids of Peru," in: Fieldiana, Botany 30(3): 533--786.

C. Schweinfurth (1970) "First supplement to the Orchids of Peru," in: Fieldiana, Botany 33: 1--85.

Roger Williams (Nov. 1999) "Growing Orchids in the Southern Hemisphere," in: Orchids 68(11): 1140-1145. [Cool-house: Stanhopea anfracta, connata, tigrina; Intermediate-house: Stan. pozoi, warscewicziana; Warm-house: Stan. candida, grandiflora, napoensis, tricornis]

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