Sobralia virginalis

F. Peeters & Cogniaux 1899

Native to Colombia, Peru, Venezuela

Edited 25 April 2007
© Nina Rach


Sobralia virginalis photo by Greg Allikas

Originally published in "Dictionnaire Iconographique des Orchidées," authored by Cogniaux, Celestin Alfred Goossens, Antonie Petrus Gerhardy, and published in Bruxelles (Brussels); ser. 3, 1: No.9, Sobralia Pl. 3 Text only! (1899). Dr. Leslie Garay notes "The illustration on Plate 3 = S. beyeriana Hort.] - The reason for this is that the actual type herbarium specimen does not agree with the illustration." (pers. comm.). See: Sobralia beyeriana Hort. Seeger 1891.

Sobralia virginalis flowers are borne apically; they are large, white or rose-colored, and have a golden mark or flushing in the throat of the lip.

In 1995, David E. Bennett and Christenson published plates 201-400 of the Icones Orchidacearum Peruviarum, and included "Sobralia yauaperyensis" in that compilation. Christenson says "Our pl. 382 is Sobralia virginalis. We followed Dunsterville's S. yauaperyensis var. alba which is also S. virginalis. Sobralia virginalis is common in Peru and was called S. violacea by Schweinfurth who commented on how odd it was that all S. violacea in Peru were white-flowered, not violet." (pers. comm. 18 Dec. 2003).

Commonly found in Peru and Antioquia, Colombia. Intermediate conditions.

A variety, Sobralia virginalis var. lilacina Cogn., has also been separately published, in: Cogn. Dict. Icon. Orchid. tab. 3A. 1902, as above. This variety is under investigation by Dr. Eric Christenson who considers it a possibly distinct species. (Garay, pers. comm.)

Photo at left provided by Greg Allikas, The Orchid Photo Page.

Plants are available through Klehm Growers in Illinois, and from orchids.andes.com in Colombia.

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Sobralia virginalis photo by Greg Allikas Sobralia virginalis photo by Greg Allikas

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Printed References:

David E. Bennett and Eric A. Christenson (1995) Icones Orchidacearum Peruviarum. Plates 201-400. Unbound, shrinkwrap, 400 pp. Sobralias on Plates 380 (macrophylla), 381(rosea), 382 (published as S. yauaperyensis, but really S. virginalis); - TEXT for Sob. virginalis; LINE DRAWING for Sob. virginalis

David E. Bennett Jr., Eric A. Christenson, B.A. Moises Cavero, and M.M. Leon (August 1996) "The sobralias of Tingo Maria, Peru," in Orchids 65(8): 820-825. [fimbriata, rosea, yauaperyensis - the latter is virginalis]

G.C.K. Dunsterville and E. Dunsterville (March 1975) "Some Venezuelan Sobralias," in: Amer. Orchid Soc. Bull. 44(3): 193-199. [Sob. yauaperyensis, cattleya, infundibuligera, fimbriata, violacea]

G.C.K. Dunsterville and Leslie A. Garay (1961) Venezuelan Orchids Illustrated, Volume 2. London: Andre Deutsch Limited. [Text and line drawings of Sob. candida (P.& E.) Rchb. f.; Sob. liliastrum Lindley; Sob. yauaperyensis Barb. Rodr.]

Rodrigo R. Escobar, Ed. (1992) Native Colombian Orchids, Volume 4: Porroglossum - Zygosepalum, Published by the Colombian Orchid Society, Medellin: Compania Litografica Nacional S.A., 618p.

F. Peeters, Cogniaux, Celestin Alfred Goossens, Antonie Petrus Gerhardy (1899) Original publication in "Dictionnaire Iconographique des Orchidées," Bruxelles (Brussels); ser. 3, 1: No.9, Sobralia Pl. 3 [Text only!]

Charles Schweinfurth (1958-1961, 1970) Orchids of Peru. Volumes 1-3, plus supplement. Chicago, Fieldiana, Botany.

Charles Schweinfurth (April 9, 1958) Orchidaceae, Orchids of Peru, in: Fieldiana, Botany, 30(1): 68-77. [Sobralia amplexicaulis, biflora, candida, crocea, dichotoma, d'orbignyana, fimbriata, klotzscheana, leucoxantha, rosea, scopulorum, setigera, violacea< font color=red>- this is virginalis, weberbaueriana]


Online References:

List of White Sobralia Species.

More photos by Greg Allikas at the Orchid Photo Page

International Plant Names Index (IPNI), www.ipni.org

Photo from Klehm Growers (Pedregal)

In situ sighting in Ecuador by Brian Woodward, in "An Andean Experience"

Photo by Geoffrey Hands of a plant grown via hydroculture in the U.K.


Comments? Send e-mail: sobralia@autrevie.com.

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