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Sophronitis species in my
greenhouse Dec. 21, 2002
coccinea (Lindley) Reichenbach f. 1861. コクシネア.
grandiflora Lindley 1837
Trip to the
Habitat of Sophronitis coccinea in Brasil
To collect Sophronitis coccinea of the large flower, one Japanese
Mr. Ｊｉｒｏ Miura, did a difficult climbing mountain from Ubatuba located in Santos's northwest about 150Km to the coast mountainous district of above sea level 1,000m.
He found red Sophronitis coccinea of the large flower in the place. The
plants are growing on the dense carpeting of moss covering the tree trunks. It is written in his book as
This zone is thought to be natural habitat of Sophronitis coccinea which makes the chromosome a multiple.
It is encompassed from the afternoon to next morning in the dense fog. The repetition of this weather is a condition of the natural habitat of
Miura has made some specialty of using fine clone for sib
crosses. The clone, 'Small World X' (exhibitor : Jiro Miura) , were gold
medal winner at the 11th World Orchid Conference in Miami in 1984. The
clone, 'Halley's Comet' (exhibitor : Kiyoaki Tatsuka) also
were gold medal winner at the 12th World Orchid Conference in Tokyo
(Japan) in 1987. The clone, 'Neon Light' (exhibitor : Fordyce Orchids) were
FCC/AOS (90 points) in 1992.
The flask seeding of 'Halley's Comet' was bought
from Jiro Miura. The seedling is sib cross (S. coccinea 'SEXTUOR' X S. coccinea
'Dom'). The colchicine treatment was applied on the seedling. (private communication).
Sophronitis coccinea 'Small World X' GM/11WOC 1984 Jiro Miura Award
Sophronitis coccinea 'Halley's Comet' GM/12WOC
1987 Kiyoaki Tatsuka Award
Sophronitis coccinea 'Neon Light' FCC/AOS
1992 Masatoshi Miyamoto Award
Sophronitis coccinea var. barboleta
Sophronitis coccinea var. xanthochila
Sophronitis coccinea (Wild Plant)
Sophronitis coccinea 'Yellow Smile' x self
Sophronitis coccinea (Sibcross)
Sophronitis coccinea (Sibcross)
identifying characteristics of the Sophronitis coccinea plants are their
cylindrical rather than spherical pseudobulbs and their upright, rather narrow
leaves, which have a red stripe down the midrib and usually a red margin around
the edge. Single flower, rarely two, are produced in November - April in Japan.
Three "ecotypes" have been described. These
are names applied to plants differing from each other in the habitat, a consequence
of their position in the forest. These name do help interpret the
complicated and variable Sophronitis coccinea species population.
Sophronitis coccinea (ecotype militaris)
The pseudobulbs of this ecotype are as thin as pencil
leads, the one standing next to the other like a row of soldiers, hence the
name. Plant retain this growth habit when removed to artificial cultivation. In
nature they like very dark forests, low down in the trees, the peduncles so
short the flowers appear to simple sit right on the narrow, long leaves.
Sophronitis coccinea (ecotype coccinea)
The leaves are shorter and broader, the pseudobulbs more plumped out and they
grow in normally bright positions in average forests. There is a prominent
purple mid rib evident on the center and running down the leaf.
Sophronitis coccinea (ecotype insolaris)
This is the rarest of the three ecotypes. It prefers
the little branchlets that reach up to the sunlight in the tallest trees in the
center of the woods or sometimes around the edges of the gulch on trees which
get more light. the longitudinal stripe of the leaf is marked and in addition
the leaf border is margined purple, the leaves shorter and lighter green, the
pseudobulbs more egg-shaped. The flowers considered to be brighter red. This ecotype is possible the group that has produced most
of the tetraploid forms.
The horticultural color varieties
of Sophronitis coccinea are given below.
Hort. carmine red
Hort peach with red stripe, rare
var. discolor Hort.
brick red with darker red veine and entirely
yellow lip, rare
Hort. tetraploid, rare
var. labelloide Hort.
petals change in to lip
var. lobbii Hort.
entirely yellow, rarest
var. pallens Hort.
light brick red
var. rossiteriana Hort.
egg yolk yellow, rare
var. striata Hort.
red with darker red veine
var. xanthochila Hort. yellow lip
bicolor Miranda. 1991. Die Orchidee
Carl L. Withner, Phd has stated as
follows in his work (Ref.2）. "The several varieties that have been allotted to S. coccinea
are so numerous that the taxon has become a sort of wastebasket species
for all that was not known."
The plant was
discovered in the orchid nursery in Rio de Janeiro. And it was reported as a new
species in 1991. The large sized plants called var. tetraploidea or gigantea
that were presumably tetraploid clones. There is the appropriate feature also
in a form and a flower. A leaf is as long as 15cm.
Jiro Miura climbed the Coast
Ranges from town Ubatuba of the seashore, and he arrived at the altitude point
of 1,000m of an Organ mountain. Sophronitis coccinea which has made the
crimson red of a large flower also with large pseudobulb and leaf was found at
the point. It is said that this zone is considered to be the spontaneous
generation ground of Sophronitis coccinea which the chromosome multiplied
coccinea subsp. Pygmaea Pabst. 1976)
S. pygmaea is the smallest species in the genus. The species discovered in
the coastal mountains of Espirito Santo. Flower structure is the same as
that of S. coccinea , only smaller. Ghillany
described as follows. According to my opinion, the differences in flower details,
appearance, shape or habit are not sufficient enough to consider them as
is raising it to species status. Flower borne in Japan in
mantiqueirae Fowlie. 1972.
mantiqueirae Fowlie. 1968.
coccinea var. parviflora Hort. 1972.
plants of Sophronitis mantiqueirae are smaller and have smaller flowers
than those of S. coccinea. The leaves lack the red midrib and marginal
red pigmentation. The leaves beneath provided with tiny purplish anthocyanin
spots, not present in S. coccinea, and they are oval in shape and curved.
The plants flower in the Brazilian summer month (January and February) and have
a separate habitat area at 1200 to 1890m in the Serra de Mantiqueira. They are
easy to distinguish there during January and February, as none of the other
species are ordinarily blooming then. They grow on small saplings which are
usually moss-shrouded or lichen encrusted.
mantiqueirae. Orquidario Binot Nursery, Brazil
Sophronitis mantiqueirae Fowl. 標高1,700m
Fowl. 標高1,500m （Ref. 1）
5. Sophronitis acuensis Fowlie. 1975. Orchid Digest 39(3):147-151
The plants of Sophronitis acuensis were first noted in the
greenhouses of Orquidario Binot. A local collector had brought them from
the Organ Mountains. Guided by the collector, J.
A. Fowlie was able to collect plants of this new entity after a climb to
2100m. At that altitude they grew on small creek side trees in the ravines
that extended down the mountain for 200-300m. The habitat is higher and
colder than for other species in the genus.
It is not hard to recognize Sophronitis
acuensis plant from their vegetative characteristics , even
though the flowers have a typical Sophronitis shape. Fowlie
describes the color of the flowers in nature as a livid deep red but says
they become orange-red once in cultivation.
Sophronitis acuensis Fowl.
Organ Mountains in Brazil 6,400 feet elevation. （Ref.１）
Sophronitis acuensis var.xanthocheila
Hort. Very rarely the high elevation species.(Ref.1）
Sophronitis acuensis (Ref.2）
6. Sophronitis brevipedunculata (Cogniaux)
Fowlie. 1972. Synonym
wittigiana var. brevipedunculata Cogniaux 1898-1902.
It typically produces a
regular double row of pseudobulbs with ovate green leaves. This type of
growth habit is seen only in two other forms of Sophronitis cernua and Sophronitis
The flowers tend to
have a salmony tone of reddish coloration quite unlike colors evidenced in S.
coccinea. The plants usually grow on Vellozia bushes−an unusual
host plant that grows in drier, cool mountain habitats at the 1500-2000 m level.
Some of the orchids may also grow directly upon the rocks. In nature they exist
mostly on condensation from air currents and the cloud caps that form over the
high mountains during the late afternoon and night, not from seasonal rains.
The unique plant, Vellozia is closely related to the amaryllis or lily
Please see the following site in Sato's TOKYO WALKE-CLUB
about the situation of the natural habitat.
(Ref. 4 Fig 28）
(Bahia State of Brazil)
Date of Flowering:
Dec. 6, 2002
7. Sophronitis wittigiana Barb. Rodrigues.1878.
Hort. ex Gastling. 1884.
There are some
confusion in the classification of the species. It is an opinion that S.
rosea and S.
wittigiana are different forms of pink-flowered sophronitis belonging to two
different species. The pseudobulbs has a double row formation that is
distinctive. The double formation shares with S.
wittigiana and S. brevipedunculata. The habitat of this species in
the state of Espirito Santo .It occurs at about 1100-1400 m elevation. During
seasonal drier spells the swamps keep up the humidity around the plants. An
almost pure white form of this species was found near Pedra Azul in Minas Gerais.
Sophronitis wittigiana 'Lindsay' AM/AOS （Ref.
Sophronitis wittigiana 'Hikumo 1'
8. Sophronitis cernua Lindley. 1827.
The pseudobulbs and leaves are double row formation, and grow
almost flat against the surface of the trunk or rock. It is the least
demanding of coolness and humidity and grows under the widest range of
conditions. The species is found elsewhere in the sea coast region of Rio de
Janeiro extending to inland mountainｓ of Sao Paulo State, also in low
mountain from Paraguay and Bolivia to the northern Minas Gerais. It has a great variation
in plant forms and flower coloration because of its diverse ecological
Horticultural varieties are var. lowii (lemon yellow), var.
mineira (light cinnabar red) and var. endsfeldzii (egg
Date of Flowering: Nov., 2001
Sophronitis cernua var.
Date of Flowering:
Nov. 22, 2002
9. Sophronitis pterocarpa Lindley.
designation of Sophronitis pterocarpa has been somewhat of a mystery for
a long time. In his writings Fowlie "excludes" the S. pterocarpa concept
from Sophronitis （Ref.１）.
Afterwards, It was reconfirmed that S. pterocarpa was a species of the Sophronitis
(Ref. 2） by Withner. The flower is just like the S. cernua,
but the ovary is swollen and winged compared to the typical S. cernua
flower. The only living one of this type have be seen among dozens of S.
cernua clones. The species has been found over the same area as S. cernua.
Recently, the doubt is presented for the classification of
S. pterocarpa. Francisco Mirnda is written in his
article as follows. Throughout the distribution range of the species, the degree
of wing-cresting of the ovary varies and thus it would be difficult to find a
point where the species could be separated.（Ref.20)
V.P. Castro Neto and G. R. Chiron 2003 (文献. 28)
The plant was discovered in Alagoas state in
Brazil in October, 2002. The smaller flowers of S. alagoensis are
remarkable for their truly scarlet color without the orange tones found in S.
cernua. The flowers of S. alagoensis bloom in September - November.
The flowering of S .cernua is April - June.
Photograph of Ｓｏｐｈｒｏｎｉｔｉｓ Species
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