Sobralia exilis

Schlechter 1920

Native to Colombia & Ecuador

Edited 17 April 2007
© Nina Rach

Sobralia exilis

Published in Fedde, Repert. Beih. vii. 44, 1920.
[Full title: Repertorium Specierum Novarum Regni Vegetabilis. Centralblatt für Sammlung und Veroffentlichung von Einzeldiagnosen neuer Pflanzen. Beihefte. (Edited by Friedrich Fedde)]

A cool-growing, "miniature" sobralia, reaching 0.5 m (18"). Flowers of this species are bright orange, and often mis-identified as Sobralia crocea, but the true S. crocea has yellow flowers.

Photo at left by Nina Rach.

AOS awards to this Sobralia species: [these probably should have been awarded as Sob. exilis]

Sobralia crocea 'Eichenfel's Jellybeans' CHM/AOS, 82 pts
Awarded 18 November 2000 at Northeast Center Monthly Judging [AQ 33(2): 134].
"Twenty-five flowers and one bud on 26 terminal inflorescenses; plant typical of genus with leaves alternating on approximately 48-cm canes; flowers among the smallest of the genus, partially open, brilliant orange, tubular; sepals orange; petals and lip cream-colored; throat dark burgundy; substance waxy; texture glossy; awarded for pleasing presentation of flowers on a floriferous, compact plant; species from Ecuador. Nat.spr. 1.4cm, 2.9cm vert; ds 0.6cm w, 2.2cm l; pet 0.5cm w, 1.9cm l; ls 0.6cm w, 1.6cm l; lip 0.5cm w, 1.5cm l." Exhibited by Ann and Phil Jesup, Bristol, Connecticut.

Sobralia crocea 'Rustic Orange' CBR
Awarded October 1995 at Long Beach, CA (AQ 27 (3):148 B&W photo)
Exhibitor: Howard Liebman, MD, Pacific Palisades, CA
"One tubular flower on one terminal inflorescence; rarely seen, brilliantly colored, tiny flowered Sobralia from Ecuador and of interesting educational value; plant bamboo-like, 48 cm high, a miniature of the genus; sepals dark orange, petals and lip creamy orange, throat chestnut; substance waxy; texture glossy. Nat. spr. 1.4cm, 1.0cm vert; ds 0.6cm w, 2.3cm l; pet 0.4cm w, 1.8cm l; ls 0.6cm w, 2.5cm l; lip 0.6cm w, 2.2cm l."

Sobralia crocea 'Tangerine Squeeze' CHM/AOS, 80 pts
Awarded 23 July 2001 at Pacific South Center Monthly Judging [AQ 33(2): 134].
Exhibitor: Cindy Hill, Solana Beach, CA.
"Thirteen brilliant red-orange flowers on eight inflorescenses; petals yellow-orange; lip pale yellow with maroon throat centrally, lighter at apex; substance soft; texture waxy; commended for potential breeding of orange sobralias; identified by Eric Christenson, Ph.D. Nat.spr. 1.4cm, 1.3cm vert; ds 0,5cm w, 2.8cm l; pet 0.7cm w, 2.4cm l; ls 0.5cm w, 2.8cm l; lip 0.8cm w, 1.6cm l."

Printed References:

Flora of Ecuador, No. 9, edited by Gunnar Harling and Benkt Sparre; 225 (1) Orchidaceae by Leslie A. Garay (28 Dec. 1978). See: Sobralia crocea on pp.117-118, line-drawing of lip on p.121 (Fig. 37F).

Rudolf Schlechter (1920) in: Fedde, Repert. Beih. 7: 44.

Web References:

International Plant Names Index [IPNI],

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