Monographs Details: Lepanthes Sw.
Authority: Ackerman, James D. 1995. An orchid flora of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 73: 1-203.
Description:Genus Description - Plants sympodial, caespitose to occasionally creeping epiphytes or lithophytes. Roots velamentous. Secondary stems slender, erect, enclosed by tubular, ribbed, ciliate or scabrous, "lepanthiform" sheaths, i.e., having oblique, dilated ostia with thickened margins. Leaves articulate, solitary, apical, coriaceous, lanceolate to suborbicular. Inflorescences racemes, produced from stem apex, often faciculate. Flowers small, flat. Sepals ovate to lanceolate; lateral sepals often basally connate. Petals transversely bilobed. Lip basally connate to the undersurface of the column, trilobed; lateral lobes flanking the column; middle lobe minute, sculptured, often hidden by the column. Column slender; anther dorsal or apical, operculate, incumbent; pollinia 2, hard, waxy, subglobose, attached to slender caudicles. Fruit a capsule.
Discussion:Lepanthes Swartz, Nova Acta Regiae Soc. Sci. Upsal. 6: 85. 1799. Type species. Lepanthes ovalis (Swartz) Fawcett & Rendle, based on Epidendrum ovale Swartz of Jamaica, Cuba, and Venezuela.
A neotropical genus of about 600 species. The generic name refers to the minute scale-like flowers of many species.
Special Literature. Stimson, 1969; C. A. Luer, 1986a; Tremblay & Ackerman, 1993.