Sobralia lancea

Garay 1958

Native to Colombia and Ecuador

Edited 12 February 2008
© Nina Rach

Photo by Alexander Reynolds, UC Davis

Original publication: Botanical Museum Leaflets, Harvard Univ. 18: 187 (1958) [superseded by: Harvard Papers in Botany].

This Colombian species has medium-sized cream to pale beige, starry-shaped, apical flowers with tubular white lips marked with purple.

In 1990, a sobralia was found growing in forest at 1250 m altitude in San Jose province of Costa Rica and initially identified as Sobralia lancea. However, Dressler (2003) decided that the Costa Rican occurrence was a new species (Sob. quinata). See below:

Dressler, R. L. (2003) "Sobralia quinata, a new species in section Globosae," in: Lankesteriana 6: 27-28.

Based on the author's first examination of flowering plants in life, Costa Rican material lately (e.g., in early drafts of the author's Manual treatment) called Sobralia lancea Garay becomes our latest endemic sp. of Orchidaceae. The name Sobralia quinata Dressler alludes to the presence of five labellar keels, as opposed to (apparently) just two in the real S. lancea, now restricted to Colombia and Ecuador.
The new sp. occurs at elevations of ca. 1050-1400 m, on the Atlantic slope of the Cordilleras de Tilarán and Central, and in the north portion of the Cordillera de Talamanca. A dichotomous key distinguishes the five spp. of Sobralia sect. Globosae Brieger, and the new sp. is illustrated with a fine composite line drawing. It is questionable whether this change can be accommodated in the Manual (now in the page-proof stage).

Photo at upper left by Alexander Reynolds, UC Davis; part of the "Inventory of the vascular plants of Maquipucuna, Ecuador."

Printed References:

Leslia A. Garay (1958) in: Botanical Museum Leaflets, Harvard Univ. 18: 187.

Dressler, R. L. (2003) "Sobralia quinata, a new species in section Globosae," in: Lankesteriana 6: 27-28. [Sobralia quintana, lancea]

Dressler (2003) abstracted in: "Manual de Plantas de Costa Rica," in: The Cutting Edge, Volume X, Number 2, April 2003. Link

Robert L. Dressler and Diego Bogarin C. (September 2007) "Two attractive new species of Sobralia from Panama," in: Orchids, magazine of the Amer. Orch. Soc., 76(9): 696-701. [New: Sob. fuzukiae, mireyae. Mentioned with regard to Sob. fuzukiae: Sob. candida, lancea, pardalina, quinata, leucoxantha, nutans. Mentioned with regard to Sob. mireyae: Sob. macrophylla, leucoxantha, citrea, kerryae, kruskayae, theobromina, bouchei, wilsoniana]

Native Colombian Orchids, Volume 4: Porroglossum - Zygosepalum (1992).

Web References:

International Plant Names Index [IPNI],

ING: Index Nominum Genericorum, URL: from the U.S. National Herbarium, Dept. of Systematic Biology - Botany, Smithsonian Institution

University of California at Davis, "Inventory of the vascular plants of Maquipucuna, Ecuador,"
[ Photo of Sobralia lancea by Alexander Reynolds]

Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Ecuador (CVPE) -- Accepted Taxa, from the W3 TROPICOS database at MOBOT.

Sobralia lancea is on the Bilsa Preliminary Plant List, Ecuador, along with Sobralia ecuadorana and four species of Elleanthus (aristatus & ecuadorensis & fractiflexus & robustus).

Sobralia lancea is listed in the Flora of the Pacific Coastal Range of Northwestern Ecuador {MOBOT Project]

Sobralia lancea is listed in the BIMS database for Costa Rica (Biodiversity Information Management System).

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